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07 October 2020

The Office of the Premier
Eastern Cape Government

Dear Premier, Hon. Oscar Mabuyane

EC SMME’S tendered to a bid that was issued by Department of Health-EC and closed on the 21″ May 2020 during the Lockdown level 4. Sacrificed EC SMME’s, who are desperate because of Economic meltdown submitted their applications towards tender no SCMU3-20/21-0042-HO. Most of businesses suffered during pandemic and closed down due to lack of jobs as a result of lockdown.

The unfortunate part is that, about 359 SMME’s were disadvantaged and not awarded, with one reason of non-submission of the proof of address, of which it was submitted. We appeal for your kind intervention of resolving the matter as we feel EC SMME’s are jeopardised as the matter is not handled in a just and equitable manner during awarding stages. We plead to your respective office to intervene in this complaint as soon as possible.

On the 21 April, which was day 25 of nation-wide lock down, President Cyril Ramaphosa issued a statement on ways on how to further economic and social measures, in response to the covid-19 epidemic. He also mentioned, I quote “our new economy must be founded on fairness, empowerment, justice and equality”

  1. We find it is not fair that, out of about 600 SMME’s who responded to the tender, only 5 companies were awarded with a range of R35-R37M, whereas about 100 were awarded in such a manner that, they had to share mere peanuts in the entire allocated budget

  2. We find it odd and very ludicrous that more than 359 SMME’s were disqualified from the bid, with the same reason of the absence of proof of residence, which on following up with them, they confirm to have provided. In the event such information was unavailable, CSD had been made a mechanism to verify and provide for such information.

  3. Notwithstanding making persistent pleas to our Provincial Government regarding awarding of work to local companies, we have noted with concern that some companies from Johannesburg have been preferred for this project, over the SMME’s from the province (E.C)

    1. With that being said, we have communicated with the MEC and she has responded accordingly with a letter, stating that she has initiated a process responding to our queries; that she has set up a due diligence process to equip herself with sufficient information and evidence for our response, of which she did according to a Daily Dispatch print dated 2 September 2020.

    2. We are also aware of the letter from the attorney of the national office demanding that the investigation should be stopped and let the SIU be allowed to continue with its investigation, whereas we feel that the MEC office was doing an effective investigation more than the siu.

    3. So far we have not received any effective results from the SIU investigation, which leaves us as hungry as we were from yesterday yet few companies have amount of millions from the same tender that could have empowered many and fed many families.

  4. The new economy is supposed to open new interests and new equal opportunities for better future but instead we find ourselves in a state of fighting and writing letters which could have been avoided. How shall we recover, prosper and overcome poverty when doors are being shut right at our faces?

  5. Despite this, we demand fairness and equality from this process.

  6. We hope to get similar support and attention like others, as we also deserve, so that we will be able to work together with our trusted government, accessing significant opportunities in our Province, justifiable, fairly and equitably

  7. As illustrated above, and after engagements between the Hon. MEC- Health and EC SMME’s an article was issued on the DD of the 28th September 2020, where MEC-EC Health instituted an internal investigation towards the 5 companies that were awarded contracts worth more than RISOM. To our surprise, the SIU advocate stopped that investigation with immediate effect. The stopping by SIU advocates of the investigation into the 5 companies being awarded is a serious concern that your respective office needs to verify on.

  8. It is against this background that we request a meeting with you on Friday the 09.10.2020 at 14:00