Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana says government needs to take bold steps to improve state capability and reduce the scope for procurement corruption within the public sector.
Godongwana made the remarks when delivering his maiden budget speech on Wednesday afternoon, 23 February 2022.
The minister has described corruption as a major blight which has not only lowered the country’s economic growth potential, but also made it fiscally more vulnerable, and severely weakened the capability of the state.
“Accounting officers need to ensure that their procurement processes have integrity, provide value for money, and are free from interference from politically connected persons and bidders. We also need to be clear on what we are fighting,” Godongwana said.
GODONGWANA TALKS ‘CORRUPTION’ VS ‘A MINOR TRANSGRESSION’
Enoch Godongwana says there needs to be clear definitions as to what exactly constitutes corruption versus a minor transgression, particularly in relation to the rules of policy prescripts that are audited as irregular expenditure.
Godongwana says National Treasury is currently engaging with the Auditor-General to continue to ensure transparent disclosure of minor transgressions, but outside the financial audit process.
He adds that the Public Procurement Bill, which is to be tabled before Parliament, will be revisited, in light of recent events.
“In light of the recent Constitutional Court judgement on the preferential procurement regulations, and the first Zondo Commission report highlighting abuses in state
procurement, we are revising the Bill to take account of these developments. We will also be responding formally to the Zondo Commission report. In the meantime, we must take bold steps to improve state capability and reduce the scope for procurement corruption.”
Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana