The public protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, has faulted the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) for a food package contract failure that has left the poor hungry. Mkhwebane gave the devastating verdict on Friday, the result of an investigation begun in July 2020 by lawyer Paul Hoffman of the Institute for Accountability in Southern Africa.
According to Hoffman, Sassa advertised a tender for the appointment of new service providers for the dispersion of food parcels for 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 problems. "Sassa did not finish the tender procedure before the end of 2019, and the tender was only re-advertised on January 17, 2020. As a result, Sassa was forced to suggest that previously selected service providers temporarily extend their services in the aforementioned provinces for a three-month term," Hoffman said to Mkhwebane.
According to Hoffman, Sassa then asked the National Treasury to request a departure from the procurement process in order to choose service providers for extra six months until the tender process was finished. He added that the Treasury granted the proposal, but Sassa's appointment was just for three months, with the term expiring in April 2020. From November 2019 to March 2020, Sassa did not deliver any food parcels in the six provinces.
Due to the uncertainty surrounding the continuation of their contracts, the selected service providers were stuck with massive stocks of food in warehouses.
People were going hungry while the food parcels were just sitting in the warehouse, this is just sad. Let us know what you think about this in the comment section, please also like and share.
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