To ensure transparency and due diligence, the City of Cape Town has released a report detailing their expenditure during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Between the time period of March 16 and July 31, the City spent more than R61,8-million in general emergency COVID-19 procurement to protect the most vulnerable in Cape Town. A large sum of this money was spend on acquiring food, mattresses, shelter, water provisions and burial spaces. A further R72,8-million was allocated to buying personal protective equipment protective equipment for essential workers.
The City’s Mayco Member for Finance and Executive Deputy Mayor, Ian Neilson said, “Emergency procurement processes were followed in terms of the Supply Chain Management Policy, the National Treasury and the Municipal Finance Management Act to avert human suffering and to ensure the continuation of essential and basic services.”
All COVID-19-related procurement tenders and requests for information have been published on the City’s website as part of it’s commitment to be transparent and accountable to members of the public.
“The City has acted in an accountable and transparent manner to ensure that these funds were spent appropriately and in line with National Treasury guidelines and all legislation governing public finance spending in South Africa. It has been well documented that the emergency basic services and health interventions in Cape Town by the City and the Western Cape Government have stood out head and shoulders above comparative cities in South Africa. We have not only as a city and province managed to avert a devastating infection peak; we implemented interventions in a transparent and accountable manner. The consolidated R133,8 million procured COVID-19-related services and goods, has been done responsibly and by the book,” Neilson added.
“It is also worth noting that the City achieved South Africa’s highest service reach to street people during the hard lockdown levels of the national lockdown period, when the national government specifically instructed municipalities to immediately shelter homeless persons amidst safety risks. The City reached roughly double the number of street people compared to the whole of Gauteng, according to the National Department of Social Development report to Parliament in April 2020.”
The City ensured that due diligence processes were followed and that prices were benchmarked against National Treasury guidelines. It must be noted, procurement had to be done on an extremely urgent basis in response to the pandemic, to carry out basic and essential service delivery.
Some prices were higher than usual due to the constraints on national and international supply and demand caused by the COVID-19 crisis; however, as time has progressed, unit prices came down.
“Where possible, the City used existing tenders to source requirements and in other instances, a competitive request for quotations (RFQ) process was followed. In instances where there was an immediate need to support frontline staff, emergency procurement was instituted through deviation processes. As far as possible, most deviations were tested for competitive pricing and negotiations with suppliers were undertaken to obtain value for money,” the deputy mayor added. “The City follows a transparent procurement process and has strictly complied to the National Treasury Emergency Procurement Guidelines.”