South African National Treasury executives are at loggerheads over a controversial R3 billion broadband contract.
City Press reported that in May, Treasury’s acting Accountant-General, Zanele Mxunyelwa, sanctioned a R3 billion tender for broadband across the Eastern Cape.
The Eastern Cape province appointed Liquid Telecom to deliver broadband in 2 700 sites.
Mxunyelwa wrote to Eastern Cape director-general Marion Mbina-Mthembu, saying she found nothing wrong with how the province went about appointing Liquid Telecom.
In a letter in November last year, Willie Mathebula, Treasury’s acting Chief Procurement Officer, warned Mbina-Mthembu not to “piggyback” on a contract that the State Information Technology Agency (Sita) signed with Liquid Telecom to roll out broadband in the Western Cape. He advised Mbina-Mthembu to procure the broadband through a public tender.
A senior IT executive said the contract “was flawed and didn’t meet basic piggybacking requirements compared to the Western Cape”.
“The Eastern Cape is paying R1 billion more than the Western Cape for what are essentially far poorer services.
“The Western Cape tender is worth R3.9 billion over 10 years and everything was fully priced from day one. They have connected 1 875 sites which are already live. In the four years, they have paid Liquid Telecom about R310 million.”
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