SAP commits to higher levels of compliance

Samuel Mungadze
By Samuel Mungadze, Africa editor
Johannesburg, 03 Oct 2022
Cathy Smith, SAP Africa managing director.
Cathy Smith, SAP Africa managing director.

Software firm SAP has welcomed the settlement of its contentious Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) contract, committing to higher levels of compliance on its projects.

Last week, SAP agreed to settle its long-running dispute with the department, paying a further R82 million to put the matter to bed.

The dispute emanated from a 2018 probe into the SAP contract with the water ministry, after allegations emerged that public money had been siphoned.

A Special Investigating Unit (SIU) investigation unearthed anomalies and the contract was invalidated, as the transaction failed to comply with the provisions of Section 217 of the Constitution, the Public Finance Management Act, treasury regulations and the department's supply chain management policies.

The Special Tribunal SA – mandated to recover public funds siphoned from the fiscus through corruption, fraud and illicit money flows – announced last week that a deal had been sealed with SAP, closing the matter.

It said: “The settlement arises out of the applicants (SIU and the minister of water and sanitation) having reached a full and final settlement of the remainder of the disputes and matters between them relating to the licence agreements entered into between 2015 and 2016.”

Reacting to last week’s settlement, SAP Africa MD Cathy Smith says: “SAP remains committed to maintaining a robust, world-class compliance programme so that, together with its global network of customers, partners, employees and thought leaders, we can help the world run better and improve people’s lives.”

She explains the settlement deal: “In March 2022, following a comprehensive investigation relating to the sale of SAP software licences to the DWS, the SIU, the DWS and SAP SA together reached a settlement. At the time of that announcement, part of the settlement was due immediately.

“The balance was still pending review. Friday’s announcement by the SIU is the conclusion of the full settlement.

“DWS remains an SAP customer and SAP continues supplying and maintaining DWS’s software investment, working towards improved billing and better service delivery.”