City Power paid R3,450 for a small bottle of sanitiser which costs R30

A new report revealed City Power paid R158,700 for 46 small bottles of sanitiser, which works out to R3,450 per bottle. The same product can be purchased at Clicks for R29.99 each.

This information was contained in a report which showed how much City Power spent on personal protective equipment (PPE) as part of an emergency procurement process.

In an emergency procurement process normal tender processes do not have to be followed which increases the chances of corruption.

Citing the City Power report, Rapport revealed that the organisation overspent on a variety of items it procured between 15 March 2020 and 30 June 2020.

Rapport revealed City Power paid R97,750 for 17 boxes of 100 disposable gloves each. This works out to R5,570 per box which typically costs around R225.

Inflated prices were also paid for disposable overalls, material masks, and large bottles of sanitiser.

The newspaper further revealed Pikitup also overspent on PPE and office sanitisation services.

The waste management company paid eight companies R934,648 each to disinfect its offices in June 2020.

According to Rapport’s calculations it works out to R154 per square meter while the industry norm is anywhere between R5 and R32 per square meter.

The table below provides on overview of how much City Power paid for PPE as part of its emergency procurement process.

City Power PPE Payments
Product Number Total Price Paid Normal Price Price City Power paid Price inflation
Hand sanitiser 100ml 46 R158,700 R30 R3,450 11,400%
Hand sanitiser 500ml 240 R690,000 R40 R2,875 7,088%
Disposable coveralls 105 R120,700 R40 R1,150 2,775%
Box of 100 disposable gloves 17 R97,750 R225 R5,570 2,376%
Material masks 30 R34,500 R100 R1,150 1,050%

Corruption related to COVID-19 spending in South Africa

The alleged overpayment for personal protective equipment by City Power forms part of the callous theft of money earmarked to protect workers and South African citizens.

When President Cyril Ramaphosa first announced the nationwide lockdown and measures to fight the coronavirus, he promised strong action against any attempts at corruption.

Only a few months later Ramaphosa had to concede his words in March 2020 made little difference and that there was widespread corruption related to COVID-19 funds.

All he could do is make another promise of decisive action against corrupt officials and clamping down on dodgy business practices that are milking the country’s relief funds dry.

The scale of corruption is staggering. In October 2020 South African law enforcement agencies revealed they were investigating over R10.5 billion in potentially corrupt coronavirus spending across South Africa.

What is telling is that these investigations only related to COVID-19 expenditure between April 2020 and August 2020, which amounted to R15.1 billion.

This means that two-thirds of all COVID-19 spending is likely corrupt and had to be investigated.

This corruption includes overpricing of PPE, under-delivery of services, and companies charging rates for the supply of PPE in excess of Treasury’s regulated pricing lists.

Covid Corruption

The President may not have anticipated the widespread COVID-19 corruption, but it came as no surprise to ordinary South Africans who said it would happen.

The ANC government has been dogged by allegations, investigations, court battles and reports of corruption for two decades.

The Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, known as the Zondo Commission, is lifting the lid on just how widespread corruption is in South Africa.

Evidence presented to the commission has claimed that government corruption went right to the top and involved former President Jacob Zuma, provincial premiers, and other high-ranking officials.

Intellidex analyst, Peter Attard Montalto said the negative sentiment towards Ramaphosa and the government right now is based on the latest revelations and allegations of looting and corruption tied to COVID-19 finances.

Despite the president’s platitudes on taking action now, his position has been undercut by the previous two and half years of inaction on corruption.

With very few high-profile arrests and no high-ranking politicians in orange overalls, the public perception is that the ANC government remains soft on corruption.

“We have seen a marked increase in anti-Ramaphosa sentiment. There is now an increasing sense of hopelessness which we have never quite seen in South Africa before,” Attard Montalto said.

He said the ANC is not a policy generative machine or an implementing machine. Instead, it runs below the surface on tenderpreneurs, through neo-patrimonial rent extraction.

“The ANC is not going to stop corruption and Ramaphosa is perceived to not have the ability to deploy political capital from any sort of mandate to tackle corruption,” he said.

Now read: Lies, incompetence, and corruption

Latest news

Partner Content

Show comments


Share this article
City Power paid R3,450 for a small bottle of sanitiser which costs R30