Cancellation of environmental tenders puts 17 000 jobs at risk

Issued by Dave Bryant MP – DA Shadow Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries
21 Jun 2022 in News

Please find attached soundbite by Dave Bryant MP.

The DA will write to the chairperson of the parliamentary portfolio committee on environment, forestry and fisheries, Faith Muthambi, to request that the Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Barbara Creecy account to the portfolio committee regarding the cancellation of tenders which have put 17 000 jobs as risk.

The DA is extremely concerned regarding the cancellation of these tenders which relate to the Natural Resource Management programmes within the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DEFF).

In response to a parliamentary question from the DA, Minister Creecy confirmed that tender E1590, which deals with the Working for Water, Working for Ecosystems and Working for Wetlands programs, had been cancelled, stating that no bids had met the requirements. It has also come to our attention that the tender for the Working on Fire program may be cancelled as well. The failure to award these tenders is not only an embarrassment to the Department, it also puts 17 000 jobs and our natural environment at risk. These programmes have become essential to the sustainability of our natural environment.

Whilst the Minister has responded that she will attempt to stem the haemorrhaging of these jobs through the use of single source providers and the extension of existing contracts, the damage has been done and bungling of the tender process is leading to much anxiety and concern for those involved.

The failure to award these tenders has also exposed the glaring inadequacies of the current process of asking for a multitude of applications from all over the country. These processes must be streamlined, red tape minimised and job opportunities prioritised.

The DA believes that the DFFE would be far better served by establishing a smaller number of longer-term contracted programmes so as to provide longer-term security for the people involved and future protection for our precious natural environment.