Zweli Mkhize questioned on all Covid-19 health contracts – Siviwe Gwarube

DA MP wants minister to make public all companies and their boards that profited

DA submits questions to Mkhize on all Covid-19 health contracts in the provinces 

28 July 2020

Note to Editors: Please find attached an English soundbite by Siviwe Gwarube MP, DA Shadow Minister of Health. 

Today, I will request that the Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, makes public all companies and their board of directors that have been awarded any contracts by the provincial departments of health across all nine provinces. This follows the dubious R2 billion Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) contracts that have been awarded to various companies, many of which politically connected or without any demonstrable history of supplying the services that are being rendered, by the Gauteng Department of Health.

The Minister is empowered to demand that these details are publicized by the provinces. It is important that any contract that has been awarded by the provincial departments is made public and the following information is easily accessible: company name; history of work done with the state or any other entity in the field; board of directors and the status of the contract.

The DA will write to Minister Mkhize and submitting Parliamentary questions requesting this information as a matter of urgency. Once this information is made public, we will do our due diligence to ensure that politically connected individuals have not been the chief beneficiaries of these contracts and that, in fact, these services are being provided in the provinces. In addition, this is the kind of information that the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) should be considering in looking into corruption relating to all Covid-19 funds as per the President’s proclamation.

We cannot simply allow the systemic looting of public money in the middle of this pandemic to go unchallenged. We also cannot wait until crucial resources are squandered before action is taken. Retrospective investigations do little to provide the people of South Africa with the relief they require. Corruption is not a victimless crime. Money stolen takes away from services designed for the benefit of the public.

Minister Mkhize is on the record having committed to fighting corruption that will rear its head in the health response to this crisis. We expect him to move with speed in making this information public as soon as possible. The DA remains committed to ensuring that every cent is channelled towards fighting this virus and not to the pockets of the greedy and politically connected few.

Issued bySiviwe Gwarube,DA Shadow Minister of Health, 28 July 2020