The Gauteng government has cut all dealings with controversial audit firm KPMG and international consultancy McKinsey while it is reviewing its contract with software group SAP, premier David Makhura has revealed.
Makhura took advice from the Ethics Integrity Promotion and Anti-Corruption Advisory Panel that he initiated as a part of his commitment to clean governance about what he should do about KPMG, McKinsey and SAP over allegations of their involvement in unethical business dealings. The companies had been accused of irregular dealings with entities linked to the Guptas, and are facing criminal charges laid by the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission, which regulates and registers companies for alleged contravention of the Companies Act.
Makhura, who spoke in a debate on his department’s budget vote in the provincial legislature yesterday, said the ethics and integrity panel had been engaging various sectors of society including professional bodies, trade unions, business organisations and senior public sector managers so as to commit them to an Integrity Pact to uphold ethics, integrity and clean governance in Gauteng.
“The executive council has taken a firm decision to have no business relationship with KPMG and McKinsey from now henceforth. We also reviewing the contract we have with SAP, working together with National Treasury. Through this decision, we are sending a strong message to all businesses that if you want to do business with us, you have got to uphold ethics and integrity,” Makhura said.
Makhura said his pet project Tshepo 1Million has been well received by the youth, who gave positive feedback.
“They told me they appreciate that, over the past three and half years, the ANC-led provincial government has empowered more than 470 000 young people with skills, access to decent employment, transitional jobs, bursaries and internships and business opportunities,” he said.
He said in 2017/18 alone, the programme trained more than 73 000 in skills demanded by the economy, of which 8 000 got decent permanent jobs while 5 400 were placed in temporary and transitional jobs. A total of 222 were assisted to start their own enterprises.
“This programme has helped many young people in our townships to rise above their suffering and sense of hopelessness….The youth of our province have renewed hope,” Makhura said.
As a way to bring the programme to the people and response to complaints that Tshepo 1 million was not visible on the ground, the premier committed to regionalise it by appointing regional coordinators in the five corridors of the province. “We are succeeding in rehabilitating the dreams of our youth. There is no space for cynicism among the youth. They have great dreams and our task is to help them to realise their dreams,” he said.
Makhura said he met with each of his MECs and heads of department to gauge progress on “deliverology” – a governance methodology of improving the capacity to deliver on outcomes and targets set for all departments and entities that he introduced in October 2016. The programme, a brain child of international governance expert, Sir Michael Barber, is also used in the DA-governed Western Cape province.
The premier said in terms of his deliverology, every second month they conducted a stock-take on delivery and what problems were resolved, promptly deciding on appropriate interventions to support the struggling departments.
He said the process has seen improvement in responsiveness and accountability of senior government officials to citizens. “These two mechanisms have also introduced an objective measurement of the performance of departments, especially the performance of MECs and HODs. If you don’t do your work, you have nowhere to hide in our province. You will be exposed and get removed,” Makhura said.
Gauteng province has significantly improved its audit outcomes over the past four years of his leadership. In 2014, only 56% of the departments and entities of this government received clean audits, while others got disclaimers and adverse outcomes. By last year, there was a dramatical improvement in audit outcomes to 65% clean audits and 100% unqualified reports.
“According to the Auditor General, Gauteng is one of only two provinces that have demonstrated commitment to clean governance and consequence management on matters pertaining to public financial management. We are determined to improve clean audits and root out financial mismanagement and corruption in this ANC-led administration,” he said.
The provincial government had settled 134 claims of the families affected by the Life Esidimeni tragedy in line with the award ordered by Justice Dikgang Moseneke, who chaired the arbitration process into the matter. Makhura said other new claims which have been received are still being verified.
“We are continuing to work with the Family Committee to implement all the recommendations of both the health ombud, Professor Makgoba and the arbitrator, Justice Moseneke, he said.
Makhura, who undertook to ensure that the provincial health department was overhauled following the tragedy, said major structural reforms in the provincial public health system are underway. The process was being led by health MEC, Gwen Ramokgopa and new HOD, Professor Lukhele, supported by the provincial cabinet health sub-committee.