Sunday, November 27, 2011

Questions that need answering

Our political environment is so polluted by corruption, maladministration and mind-numbing levels of incompetence that when we hear about a fishing company (and its holding company) being awarded an R800m tender to essentially manage South Africa's entire fleet of fishery patrol and research vessels and then also exposed for paying for the personal security costs of a senior ANC minister's home in the northern Limpopo province, questions just keep popping up.

Firstly, with respect to the fisheries research and patrol tenders. How is it possible for a fishing company to be responsible for the management and maintenance of patrol and research vessels. Its akin to insider trading; the fox looking after the henhouse; essentially, Premier fishing will know where and when patrol vessels are to be deployed and may even be able to influence deployment strategies whether directly or indirectly. To deny this, is to deny the earth is round or that man landed on the moon.

Regardless of how one looks at it, there is a reason why there is no comparable example of a fishing company being charged with managing a fleet of fisheries enforcement and research vessels.

Questions that need answering are:

1. Who were the other bidders?
2. What were scores of each of the bidding companies?
3. What were the evaluation criteria?
4. What were the financial proposals of each of the bidding companies?
5. Who constituted the tender evaluation committee? A copy of their actual recommendation report should be made public.

Secondly, Premier Fishing's sponsorship of security costs for the Minister of International Relation's private home in the northern Limpopo Province can at best be described as questionable. There is no doubt that when a commercial entity decides to sponsor an event or cause, it does so either because the event or cause is linked to its business strategy (and will result in exposure and therefore increased profits) or the cause is worthy of commercial investment. So what is the benefit for Premier to foot the personal security bill for an ANC Minister?

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