State-employed doctors are battling without stethoscopes, blood glucose monitors and other equipment while the National Treasury quibbles about the implications of a Constitutional Court judgment, writes Rapport.
Treasury DG Dondo Mogajane has issued what has been described as a “bizarre” directive to all organs of state, ordering them to withdraw all open tenders and stop all procurement pending clarity on the judgment that found regulations mandating pre-qualification BEE criteria fall foul of the Constitution.
On Friday (4 March), Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana launched an urgent application to the Constitutional Court seeking a declarator that the impugned regulations of 2017 will remain valid for the 12-month period afforded by the Constitutional Court to change the regulations. But government bodies say clarity from the court is a luxury they cannot afford while all procurement is on hold.
Mogajane responded to a demand by Sakeliga, the applicant in the matter, saying he does not have to withdraw the directive as it is only an “advice document”.
Several organs of state view the “advice document” as binding. Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis says they advertised a tender for urgently-needed stethoscopes, blood glucose monitors and other equipment on 18 February. After obtaining legal advice on Mogajane’s “advice document”, this tender has now been withdrawn.
A pending tender for protective clothing was set to be awarded this week, but also had to be withdrawn. “This equipment keeps firefighters safe in a region where veld fires hold a considerable threat to human lives and property,” a city spokesperson said.
Johannesburg Metro spokesperson Nthatisi Modingoane said the metro has been hamstrung in the awarding of tenders worth R1.3bn. This has a “massive impact” on service delivery, Modingoane said.judgment for tenders
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