Following complaints from its member firms, Consulting Engineers South Africa (Cesa) has noted “with concern the blatant abuse of Section 32 of the Municipal Finance Management Act” and has called on the Auditor General, National Treasury and the Public Protector to investigate the deviations.
According to the organisation, Section 32 dealt with the procurement of goods and services under contracts secured by other organs of State.
“Under no circumstances does the section state that contracts secured by other organs of State are transferrable, which may lead to the illegal bypassing of internal supply chain management processes such as calling for tenders,” Cesa CEO Lefadi Makibinyane said on Friday.
He averred that Cesa viewed this practice as “irregular”, adding that it may lead to corruption and was to the detriment of Cesa members and the public at large.
Makibinyane added that municipalities used this clause to “illegally” extend existing contracts that were coming to an end.
“They use it to avoid going out to tender for new projects, leaving it open to abuse, as these contracts may be given to their cronies or family members,” he commented.
The Cesa head believed that, as it provided a loophole for corruption, this clause needed to be tightened, but added that, in light of the existence of Section 36, which provided for deviations from and ratification of minor breaches of procurement processes, Section 32 was actually unnecessary.