Companies punished for failing to register for tax after winning millions in PPE contracts

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It was discovered that three businesses awarded multimillion-rand contracts to supply personal protective equipment (PPE) to the Department of Social Development had been penalized for not registering with SA Revenue Service (SARS).

According to Hawks spokesperson Captain Simphiwe Mhlongo, the three firms were punished in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court on Thursday. Umunyeovou Trading, Bhomelela General Trading Enterprise, and Velakabuha General Trading 2 CC were all fined. A total of more than R4 million in contracts were held by all of them.

“Umunyeovou Trading (Pty) Ltd received a R2 570 174.40 tender to supply personal protective equipment to the Department of Social Development, Bhomelela General Trading Enterprise (Pty) Ltd received a R1.8 million tender to supply PPE to the Department of Social Development and Velakabuha General Trading 2 CC also received a R2 million tender to supply PPE to the same department,” said Mhlongo.

They were penalised because they had failed to register as VAT merchants in time, according to Mhlongo, and the court concluded that they had all done so.