NEWS & ANALYSIS

Health should answer for irregular R900m security contracts – DA NWest

Any person guilty of interfering with the bidding process must face disciplinary action

NW Department of Health should answer for irregular R900 million security contracts

28 August 2020

Note to Editors: Find attached soundbites in English and Afrikaans by DA North West Spokesperson on Health, Gavin Edwards.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) will write to the Chairperson of the Health Portfolio Committee in the North West Provincial Legislature (NWPL), Priscilla Williams and Chair of Chairs, Moloki Cwaile, requesting them to urgently call the Administrator for Department of Health, Jeanette Hunter and MEC Madoda Sambatha to account for the irregular awarding of security tenders totalling R900 million, before the Committee.

The judgment handed down by the Mahikeng High Court has ordered that a fresh invitation for bids be issued within six months and that the tender be awarded to the successful bidder in accordance with the Procurement Policies and Processes.

The matter was brought before the court when applicants accused the Department of tampering with the bid adjudication proceedings by tearing out some of the pages from the bid document in order to disqualify them from the process.

The Administrator, MEC, Head of Department and Director of Supply Chain Management must answer for the irregular awarding, present a breakdown of how the amount of R900 million was arrived at and also indicate the consequence management measures that will ensure accountability.

Any person guilty of interfering with the bidding process must face disciplinary action and as the Accounting Officer, the Administrator must be formally investigated.

Earlier this year, the Department was in the news for irregularly awarding a coal tender to the chairperson of the bid adjudication committee, William Kaipa, who was formerly employed by Sibusisiwe Contractors, which was among the companies that won a tender of supplying coal to hospitals.

Tender irregularities, medication shortages, irregular suspension of staff members that speak out against mismanagement and poor services by healthcare facilities are but a drop in the ocean of maladministration under the watch of the Administrator, Jeanette Hunter and substantiates our previous calls for her to step down.

The longer the Administrator remains in her position, the more damage she causes to an already distressed department. The Judgement by Hon. Justice Djaje is a clear indicator that the Department continues to ignore proper processes in the awarding of tenders.

The DA will keep a close eye on developments to ensure that individuals account for the evident corruption within this Department.

Issued by Gavin Edwards, DA North West Spokesperson on Health, 28 August 2020