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MBABANE – To eradicate overpricing in government tenders, plans are well underway to install a digital system that will compare prices with what the market has to offer.

This is anticipated to ensure that the State does not pay far more than what the product costs as a strategy to minimise uncalled for over-expenditure in the quest to provide efficient services to the citizenry.

Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade Manqoba Khumalo disclosed that government had already sought professional advice from a company, which he could not reveal, to secure a system that would enable government to achieve its goal.

“As government, we intend to review procurement policies with the intent to ensure that allocated funds get used for the desired purposes and efficiently. We will also put in place a digital system to benchmark with what the market has to offer to avoid overpricing,” said Khumalo during an interview shortly after a tour of the Eswatini Industrial Development Company (EIDC) offices at the Dlanubeka Building, fifth floor yesterday.

The minister acknowledged that companies had in the past overpriced the State primarily because payments were not processed on time. He said this prompted government suppliers to mark up their prices to cater for the costs arising from delayed payments since some of the goods which get supplied were sourced from wholesalers through credit, which accumulates with time.


The minister also pointed out that the late payments also provided the major reason why certain companies were shunning government tenders.
He noted that it was only companies that could withstand the monetary complications arising from the lack of timeous payments that eventually went for State tenders. “Soon after all arrears have been settled, we will make sure that payments are made on time going forward in order to ensure that while we complain about overpricing, companies are also at ease that their monies will be paid on time to avoid any complications,” Khumalo explained.

It should be mentioned that government has made an undertaking to settle its arrears in full within a year.
This commitment was made by Prime Minister Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini in the 2019-2023 strategy road map on Monday.


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