Premier Winde grilled about why consortium got big share of WC govt's PPE tender
Winde has defended an R38 million tender awarded to a construction consortium to supply surgical masks to a single provincial department.
The Western Cape's Department of Transport and Public Works paid R38.9 million to Tusk Construction Support Services for the supply of 2,570,000 surgical masks at a cost of R16.66 each.
The Public Works Department spent a total of R68.9 million on all PPE contracts.
This is according to the provincial government's newly-established personal protective equipment (PPE) procurement disclosure report aimed at boosting Covid-19 tender transparency.
According to News24, Tusk Construction Support is a Centurion-based consortium between Tusk, Standard Bank, and building materials retailer Massbuild.
Massbuild runs Builders Warehouse, Builders Express, Builders Superstore and Builders Trade Depot.
A number of small-scale suppliers have taken issue with the fact that such a huge share of the PPE contract was given to this single company.
Some small business owners, who feel snubbed by the provincial government, called CapeTalk to take Premier Alan Winde to task.
An entrepreneur in Table View says small businesses can't compete with big companies when bidding for government contracts.
Another businesswoman in the medical supplies field says, "Everybody and their brother is now suddenly a supplier of PPE."
She has questioned whether many of these contractors are registered with the South African Health Products Regulatory Agency (Saphra).
"I want to know, how do all these companies suddenly crop up selling medical equipment and devises?"
"It's not right that we as medical suppliers have conformed for years and years to all the rules and regulations... and someone from a shopping consortium steps in and takes the opportunity that we need to survive" a businesswoman tells Winde.
The premier says Tusk Construction Support has a longstanding relationship with the province and has been working with the Department of Transport and Public Works since 2018.
The consortium was supplying PPE to the department way before.Alan Winde, Western Cape Premier
Parts of this consortium are big companies, I know that they were supplying to the government even prior to this, I think since about 2018.Alan Winde, Western Cape Premier
Winde says the monthly PPE Procurement Disclosure Report will help foster more competitive procurement and help the provincial government become more efficient in its processes.
The premier is adamant that the Western Cape government does not favour suppliers with "access to power".
"I can assure that SMMEs are my passion", Winde tells CapeTalk host Kieno Kammies.
I think what's going to come up over time is how does this anti-corruption process of transparency also support the innovation that entrepreneurs bring.Alan Winde, Western Cape Premier
I think we'll see much more competitiveness and we'll see an opportunity for entrepreneurs.Alan Winde, Western Cape Premier
Every month we're going to publish this report to deal with corruption and efficiencies in the system.Alan Winde, Western Cape Premier
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