Department of Defence Suppliers’ Day focuses on fighting corruption

The Department of Defence (DoD) is today (October 7) staging its fourth Annual Suppliers’ day in Centurion with fighting corruption as the theme. According to SA National Defence Force (SANDF) spokesman Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga the DoD will “make sure corruption is eradicated from its procurement system”. Military Police, the DoD Inspector General as well as the SA Police Service and other partners will ensure zero tolerance for corruption he pointed out adding eliminating corruption was a double-edged sword. “It will cut both the DoD members and the suppliers found to be corrupting the procurement system. “To guarantee service delivery in the DoD and to the larger South African public, the department and its suppliers must always endeavour to work closely in a corruption-free environment. The DoD believes that if a corruption-free environment is created, progress can be made with quicker economic growth that will lead to more job opportunities,” he said.

In line with the suppliers’ day theme of the DoD leading the fight against corruption, the Department’s latest annual report notes “defence continued to build a resilient anti-corruption systems to successfully detect and investigate cases of alleged corruption by reducing departmental levels of corruption contributing to improving investor perception, trust in and willingness to invest in South Africa”. No corruption and fraud cases in excess of R5 million were reported in the DoD during the year under review ending 31 March 2016. To further bring home the anti-corruption message a series of awareness roadshows which reached more than then thousand SANDF members were presented. In the 2016 calendar year to date the SANDF has released some details of three major fraud and corruption investigations. One at the SA Army Support Base in Limpopo saw 27 members – 19 uniformed and eight civilians – placed on special leave while the investigation proceeded. The second was purportedly at the SA Army Support Base in Potchefstroom, North West, and three arrests, including that of a senior officer, were made in connection with fraud and corruption allegations going back eight years and involving a tender for secure fencing around the base. The third instance saw an SA Army Signal Formation brigadier general arrested at Wonderboom, north of Pretoria. He and two senior officers under his command were arrested following a joint Defence Intelligence/Military Police investigation into a computer maintenance contract. The DoD, according to its annual report, has been “contributing on a continuous basis towards the development of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy, which is now in the final stages of completion”. The Suppliers’ Day caters towards small, medium and micro-sized enterprises. A total of 80 exhibition stalls are allocated to such enterprises, free of charge. The DoD emphasised that all suppliers need to be registered on the National Treasury Central Supplier Database, which is designed to eliminate fraudulent activities.

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