The Limpopo Health Department says it will publish a list of companies that received Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) contracts worth more than R400 million.

The department has denied large-scale corruption in the awarding of the coronavirus (COVID-19) related contracts. Social media has been abuzz with allegations that business people linked to some national and provincial African National Congress (ANC) politicians have been unduly awarded contracts.

Some civil society organisations have called for the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) to investigate. Provincial health spokesperson, Neil Shikwambana, however, says they have been transparent about the companies contracted to provide PPEs.

“We have not received the petition officially but in terms of the instruction notes from the Treasury, we are supposed to submit the list to Treasury and the office of the Auditor General within 10 days after appointment and in our part, we have also extended this to the legislature. But we have also seen this call by civil society organisations and on our part, because we don’t have anything to hide, we will be able to publish the list within the coming week.”

Political analyst Levy Ndou talks about corruption in COVID-19 times:

Another two parties in Parliament have added to calls for urgent action over dodgy COVID-19 related contracts.

The Congress of the People (COPE) has vowed to put pressure on government to make sure that Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s call that a list of all companies awarded COVID-19  tenders be made public – is not just talk.

The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) says where there’s evidence of impropriety – the money should be recovered – as the national fiscus is under pressure.

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) wants the Auditor General’s intervention, by conducting special audits of COVID-19 related expenditure.  The party says it supports the publication of all companies who won contracts for PPEs, however  it must be inclusive of all government departments.

IFP MP Mkhuleko Hlengwa says: “However this should form part of an integrated plan which is going to factor in all government departments procurement during this time. Solely focusing on the Department of Health would be in itself a half baked exercise moreover the law enforcement agencies need to move with the necessary speed in this regard. The IFP further implores the AG to performs special audits of COVID-19 related expenditure.”

Political parties welcome the Finance Minister’s call for all companies names, awarded COVID-19 related tenders, to be published