Busisiwe Mkhwebane, the public protector, has blamed the SA Social Security Agency (SASSA) for a food delivery contract failure that has left the poor hungry. Mkhwebane delivered the damning decision on Friday, the culmination of an inquiry launched in July 2020 by the Institute for Accountability in Southern Africa's lawyer Paul Hoffman.
According to Hoffman, Sassa heavily marketed a tender for the appointment of new service providers to distribute food parcels in the provinces of the Eastern Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, and Western Cape from June 14, 2019, to July 5, 2019, but then canceled it due to technical issues. "Sassa failed to complete the tender procedure by the end of 2019, and the tender was only re-advertised on January 17, 2020. As a result, Sassa was compelled to recommend that previously chosen service providers temporarily extend their services in the aforementioned provinces for three months" Hoffman stated.
According to Hoffman, Sassa then requested that the National Treasury request a deviation from the procurement procedure in order to choose service providers for an additional six months until the tender process was completed. He went on to say that while the Treasury approved the plan, SASSA's appointment was just for three months, with the tenure terminating in April 2020. Sassa did not distribute any food parcels in the six provinces between November 2019 and March 2020.
The selected service providers were stranded with enormous supplies of food in warehouses due to the uncertainty surrounding the continuance of their contracts.
This raises a lot of questions on whether the government cares about its people or the they are just pretending to care, no caring government would watch its people go hungry while the food packs sat in the warehouse, which is quite tragic. The government needs to take the poor serious and cater for them in a more appropriate manner instead of using them when they need their votes and later discarding them like a disposable trash bag. It is really disappointing how the government keeps on failing the people over and over again.
Let us know what are your thoughts on what the government has done to the poor, please like, share and follow.
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