The Gauteng Health Department has spent R2.56 billion on irregularly awarded hospital security contracts that were then irregularly extended on a month-to-month basis for four years.
This is revealed by Acting Health MEC Jacob Mamabolo in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.
According to Mamabolo, the contracts of 73 security companies that were appointed in October 2014 for a two-year period were extended month by month to the present day at a total cost of R2.56 billion for the four year extension.
This is all irregular expenditure which happened even though criminal charges were laid against the chairperson of the bid evaluation committee that first awarded the security contracts.
The Auditor-General warned the Department two years ago about the irregular extension of contracts, but nothing was done to fix this.
Hospital security contracts are notorious for corruption and gross overcharging. New contracts should have been awarded long ago, but it probably suited certain interests to keep extending them.
Suspended Health MEC Bandile Masuku cannot escape accountability for allowing these contracts to continue at great cost.
We need better security at a more reasonable cost in view of recent disturbing security incidents at hospitals in Gauteng.