Presidency reveals full breakdown of Covid-19 spending

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s office has spent nearly R1.5m on Covid-19 supplies.
Image: Sunday Times/Alaister Russell

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s office has spent R1.45m on Covid-19 supplies, of which nearly R38,000 came from petty cash.

This is according to figures the National Treasury released on Wednesday. Ramaphosa said the release of the purchases was an indication of the government’s commitment to transparency.

There is no indication of any wrongdoing regarding the payments.

The breakdown of the presidency’s spending shows that R500,000 was spent on three-ply face masks (50 in a box), which were purchased from a company identified as Biologica Pharmaceutical on April 13.

Prior to that, boxes of 100 gloves, 25l sanitisers and spray bottles were purchased from a company identified as Gau-Flora to the tune of R294,972.13.

Another big scorer from presidency spending was a company identified as Sepepi Trading and Projects, which sold 2,000 bottles of disinfectant in 5l and 500ml quantities for R225,000.

The breakdown shows that Mulonda Construction quoted the presidency R135,000 for “access granted stickers/labels”.

Meanwhile, EGR Supplies CC submitted a quotation of R97,800 for 500 single-use, powder-free gloves.

A further R49,890 was spent on the procurement of 1,000 empty spray bottles from Vrams General Trading on July 31. The presidency also spent R27,361 on medical examination beds from a company identified as Motsiriphala Pty Ltd.

Other beneficiaries were:

  • Monaring Trading, which supplied 300 face shields at R21,000;
  • Agnes Trading and Projects, who supplied seven wheelchairs at a cost of R18,900;
  • Motla Investments, who supplied seven infrared thermometers at a cost of R12,250;
  • Glorius Medical Supplies, which supplied seven biocide disinfectant boxes of 50 sachets and 14 chlorhexidine gluconate D Germ bottles of 500ml valued at R11,410; and
  • Pref Investments and Trading, which supplied five infrared thermometers for R9,950.

The figures show that R37,877.56 was spent from petty cash for the procurement of off-shelf supplies. The breakdown shows the amounts were spent between late March and late June. Among the items bought were gloves, masks, sanitisers, thermometers, spray bottles, face shields and funnels.

The petty cash breakdown indicates purchases between R14 and R2,000. The presidency purchased supplies at Dis-Chem pharmacies at least nine times.

In a statement announcing the releasing the purchases, Ramaphosa congratulated the National Treasury, the department of justice and constitutional development, national and provincial government departments and public entities for acting with urgency to collate the information.

“This measure is unprecedented, and a clear demonstration of government’s commitment to transparency and accountability when it comes to allegations of corruption in the Covid-19 procurement process,” he said.

By Nonkululeko Njilo

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