During a parliamentary debate on draft legislation on the insourcing of workers tabled by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), party leader Julius Malema said the process of tenders for state-owned enterprises should be abolished.
“As the EFF, we propose that provincial and local government, and all state-owned companies must abolish tenders and insource workers on a full-time basis,” he said.
This after the EFF leader estimated that government spends R800 billion through tenders.
The party is embarking on a process to attempt to persuade parliament to introduce an Insourcing Private Members’ Bill due to what they see as the injustice of government outsourcing work to private companies.
“Today government appoints private companies to provide simple services such as security, gardening, travel, cleaning, general maintenance and other services,” Malema alleged.
“Government and state-owned companies appoint companies to build and maintain schools, clinics, hospitals, electricity power plants, water treatment plants, sanitation plants and other infrastructure. Government also appoints consultants to develop strategies, write basic documents, reports and plans.
“Essentially, what we have is a state that is run like a private company.
“As South Africa we have succumbed to the narrative that blacks do not have the capacity to govern their own affairs, that there must be control by a private sector which is dominated by white-owned companies,” said the EFF leader, before saying South Africa has “a private sector that has no obligation to develop South Africa but is motivated to bleed us dry of our resources”.
“Inflated prices and corruption are one part of the problem with tenders. The other problem is that these companies make our people work under terrible conditions, with long hours, no medical aid and pay them below living wage.
“The fate of these workers is suffered by many other workers who have worked as contract workers at PRASA, Transnet, Eskom, Denel, SAA and ACSA.
The EFF leader also alleged that “Bidvest is the biggest culprit in employment of outsourced, underpaid workers as cleaners, gardeners and general workers, and provides a lot of goods and services which the state can purchase with internal capacity.
“South African government at national and provincial level as well as all state-owned companies must be rescued from the control of Bidvest company, which currently is responsible for almost everything that government can do by itself,” Malema said.
The Citizen was unable to reach Bidvest for comment by the time of publication and will update this story if we receive it.
(Compiled by Daniel Friedman)