Assessing good governance in procurement at the Lejweleputswa District Municipality
Stemele, Bulumko Mollman
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The thesis evaluates the extent to which good governance has influenced the procurement process at the Lejweleputswa District Municipality. Under good governance, the manner in which goods are procured or disposed of, is supposed to be unproblematic and conducted with the highest integrity, taking into account both the costs involved in the process and the benefits of the delivery of the services. Good governance should act as a “decontaminator or antiseptic in a germ infested area” (Cloete 2006:6–19). To extend the analogy further, this process of disinfecting the wound definitely requires some form of expertise and knowledge, as well as the participation of different role players, such as doctors and nurses; in addition, certain utensils to clean and cover the wound would be needed. In the same way, the procurement process needs experts to handle and enforce correct procedure. The values of good governance alone are meaningless unless there are people who are willing and have the capacity to manage the required processes and procedures. In South Africa, a new procurement process was adopted in the public sector in 1994. To date it has been interpreted and implemented in favour of historically disadvantaged individuals, like black people, women and disabled people through a legislative framework, the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act, 2000 (RSA, Act 5 of 2000) and the Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Act, 2003 (RSA, Act 53 of 2003). It is crucial to point out, however, that the definitions given by these laws about black people differ or contradict each other. Challenges like this have turned the procurement process upside down. In an effort to attain uniformity in the procurement process in the local sphere of government, both National and Provincial Treasury Departments have instituted legislation and guidelines to steer the process. Despite all these efforts, municipalities are still associated with allegations of corruption and nepotism when awarding tenders to service providers. The Lejweleputswa District Municipality has not been spared from such accusations, as shown by the spate of riots that occurred in the Free State (Mail and Guardian 2007:6–12). This research has therefore been undertaken with the general objective of determining whether the values of good governance have managed to sustain a good procurement process in the municipality or whether the values are being ignored leading to procurement processes which do not fulfil the aims of the legislation and guidelines and remain open to allegations of corruption and maladministration. The specific objectives for the research were to investigate good governance in procurement in the municipality context and to make recommendations, if appropriate, on how to promote good governance in municipal procurement.