The Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Malusi Gigaba, told the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises that Ministers were not involved in deciding who gets what contract through tender processes. He was providing the Committee with evidence related to his tenure as Minister of Public Enterprises
The Committee leads the inquiry into the mismanagement of state funds at state-owned enterprises. Mr. Gigaba briefed the Committee on various issues including the governance at Eskom, executive appointments at Eskom, testimony submitted by Mr. Brian Dames, appointments of board members and executives at Denel and Transnet. His evidence included awarding of tenders during his time as the responsible Minister between November 2010 and May 2014.
Briefing the Committee, Mr Gigaba informed the inquiry that ministers should not get involved in tender processes as it is the responsibility of the state owned enterprises (SOE). The involvement of the political head is governed by section 54 of the Public Finance Management Act. Section 54 states that SOEs are required to notify the National Treasury and obtain approval from the Executive Authority for significant transactions as outlined. The significance is defined in the materiality and significance framework of the SOEs which must be included as a component of the corporation plan.
In his testimony Mr. Gigaba said, ministers have no knowledge of the bidding process but to set out conditions of the procurement process that needs to be met. “Ministers approves in principle the application of the procurement. Ministers must not get involved in tenders they should stay away,” said Mr Gigaba.
However, members of the committee were of the view that Minister Gigaba’s opinion was a dereliction of his duties as tenders were being processed without him being involved.
Responding to a question as to whether he had been to the Gupta house at Saxonworld, Mr Gigaba said he had been, but that was when he had been invited to attend the Diwali festival.
In her closing remarks chairperson of the Inquiry Ms. Zukiswa Rantho said, the Committee is not instituting criminal charges against anyone who comes and appears before the inquiry. However she indicated that “some of the incidences that are in the public domain happened during your time as a Minister of Public Enterprises.” Adding that “the Gupta’s are perceived by the country to be influencing our government and appointments of ministers and board members.”
“Your submission and interaction will be further investigated by the committee” said Ms. Rantho.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE INQUIRY FOR THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC ENTERPRISES, MS ZUKISWA RANTHO