Health Minister, Dr. Zweli Mkhize, has reiterated that all tender irregularities, related to personal protective equipment (PPEs) must be exposed and investigated. South Africa’s Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is probing more than 150 companies over the legitimacy of coronavirus-related equipment and services.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has described corrupt practices – around medical safety gear for health workers helping fight Covid19 – as tantamount to murder.
Mkhize says a zero-tolerance approach would be adopted in fighting corruption related to PPE tenders.
“Corruption in so far as the COVID-19 resources are concerned in particular in the procurement of the PPEs, we will do everything to make sure that our systems are able to prevent any corruption and we can investigate to the extent and cooperate and expose and uproot all the corruption. So there is no way we can have a compromise on the matter. I think it is important for us to make that statement to the rest of the workers out there that we stand with them in the fight against corruption.”
The Health Minister has also reiterated that healthcare workers should not be exposed to the coronavirus (COVID-19) in their working environment without adequate training, protection, and support, including the availability of PPEs.
Over 27 000 healthcare workers have contracted COVID-19 since the start of the outbreak in South Africa. While over 16 000 have recovered, 240 of healthcare workers have died from COVID-19 related illnesses.
In the video below Dr. Zweli Mkhize addresses the PPE corruption scandals: