The Business for SA (B4SA) is not disclosing the names of the panel members that sidelined black businesses in the allocation of multimillion-rand contracts for sourcing equipment for the fight against COVID-19.
The business group – made up of the Black Business Council and Business Unity South Africa – was formed to support the government’s efforts to deal with the effects of COVID-19.
B4SA – has been procuring much-sought-after PPEs (personal protective equipment) on behalf of the government and the Solidarity Fund.
This week, the organisation refused to reveal the names of those panel members entrusted with appointing PPEs suppliers, according to the Sunday World.
“If there is nothing to hide, why the secrecy? a source close to the controversy asked.
Sunday World said close to a billion rand has already been spent on procuring 44 million units of medical equipment by B4SA using public donations and taxpayer’s money.
B4SA was formed in response to the outbreak of COVID-19 and included the BBC and Business Unity South Africa.
Sunday World has reported that B4SA has conceded that the panel that selects suppliers is not diverse and representative of the country’s racial demographics.
Following the complaints by black business that transformation and BBBEE regulations are undermined, South Africa’s National Treasury last week decided to decentralise the procurement of PPEs. For more read: Coronavirus: A ‘War’ is Brewing Over COVID-19 Billions
The BBC told the Sunday World: “The BBC underlined the dangerous possibility of the war against COVID-19 being exploited to undermine broader social transformation”.