The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) on Tuesday called for an immediate forensic investigation in the North West department of health following allegations of corruption and “wasteful and fruitless expenditure” linked to the Gupta family.
“The national union has for some time been at the forefront of highlighting issues related to corruption, wasteful and fruitless expenditure, including unduly benefiting by the Gupta and their cronies,” said the union in a statement.
“It has come to our attention that currently the department is parking 42 new ambulances while it spends millions monthly on private service providers to ferry patients. There have been also allegations of inflating invoices by the service providers and the department has not done anything to investigate these allegations.”
The union further stated that the department bought these ambulances to add to its already existing fleet of 60 ambulances.
“The ambulances have been basking in the sun while the department has not undertaken a process to register and license them.
“As Nehawu, we strongly believe that this is done so that space can be created for private ambulance owners to make more money while the department is dragging its feet in procuring more ambulances every financial year to increase its fleet. Instead of procuring its own fleet, the department apparently paid a Gupta-linked company, Mediosa, R30 million in advance for a mobile clinic service without going to tender last year.”
According to the union, the department was placed under administration last year and this has led to those who are politically connected to have direct control over the department’s budget and tenders.
“As Nehawu, we did raise concerns when the department was put under administration that it was not done for the right reasons but rather to further plunder state resources. Over the years, outsourcing of key functions of the department has benefited and enriched service providers who are politically connected.”
– African News Agency (ANA)