Public Protector confirms probe into KZN mobile clinic tender is on track
6 June 2017
The Democratic Alliance has received written confirmation from the Office of the Public Protector that a probe into alleged fraud and corruption during the tender process for three multi-million rand KZN Health Department mobile clinics remains ongoing.
The Public Protector has also advised that due to multiple complainants in this regard, the DA’s request to have this tender probed will be incorporated with others.
The DA welcomes these actions. They provide some hope of accountability in a department which is a law unto itself.
Our request that a probe be conducted came about in 2015 after the Department bought hospital buses at an exorbitant cost of around R60 million each. This, while independent sources informed the DA that they could be purchased for around R5 million each.
The DA’s request that the Public Protector investigate the tender process comes after numerous attempts to get hold of this information ourselves. This includes having the Office of the Public Protector intervene in a Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) application. To date, the Department has still not provided the information requested.
It is a travesty that any individual or organisation should have to resort to the Office of the Public Protector to obtain information that should already be in the public domain.
The DA will be sending parliamentary questions to MEC Sibongiseni Dlhomo to request that log books are produced for these buses to determine how they have been used.
This after an earlier oversight visit by the DA found one of the buses in ruins, with much of the equipment broken despite an excessive maintenance contract in place.
The DA is hopeful that what we believe is a dishonest deal will be exposed as soon as possible.
Issued by Imran Keeka, DA KZN Spokesperson on Health, 6 June 2017