Public Protector finds procurement of ‘scooter ambulances’ was improper

  • Performing Public Protector Kholeka Gcaleka stated the procurement of motorbikes with a side-car ambulance was improper.
  • The Public Protector stated officers concerned in provide chain administration processes should attend a workshop on the related laws.
  • Claims of improper conduct towards the Jap Cape’s MEC for transport have been discovered to be unsubstantiated.

Procurement processes adopted by the Jap Cape provincial well being division for the much-maligned R10 million medical scooter mission was improper and in contravention of relevant authorized prescripts, an investigation by the Public Protector has discovered.

Performing Public Protector Kholeka Gcaleka on Wednesday stated its personal initiative investigation into allegations of improper conduct and maladministration in reference to the procurement of “motorbikes with a side-car ambulance or clinic”, dubbed scooter ambulances, discovered the division had contravened or had not noticed sections of the Public Finance Administration Act (PFMA), the Treasury Rules, Nationwide Treasury Directions and the provincial Provide Chain Administration Coverage within the technique of the procurement. 

Fabkomp, a King William’s City firm, was awarded the contract.

In September, the Particular Investigating Unit obtained an order interdicting the provincial well being division from going forward with the mission, based mostly on allegations of monetary irregularities.

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Well being Minister Zweli Mkhize and former well being MEC Sindiswa Gomba unveiled six scooters in June final 12 months. The scooters have been fitted with a primary assist equipment and oxygen.

On the launch, Gomba introduced that the division had acquired the scooters to ferry sufferers from far-flung distant rural areas to clinics and hospitals.

Fabkomp proprietor Brian Harmse, on the time, stated the scooters have been a solution to challenges confronted by villagers who needed to carry the sick in wheelbarrows because of the difficult terrain.

Mkhize, who initially praised the initiative, later instructed Parliament that it didn’t meet the fundamental standards for “affected person transport as an ambulance”.

To treatment what it referred to as maladministration and improper conduct, Gcaleka stated the appearing head of the division should take the suitable steps in respect of disciplinary motion towards the officers who have been “concerned in and liable for the non-compliance with the provisions of the Provide Chain Administration Coverage and Treasury Rules pertaining to the procurement of the scooter/ambulance or clinics”.

The Scooter Venture was launched within the Jap Cape on Friday.

This must be performed inside 90 days. 

Managers

Gcaleka stated the appearing head should additionally be certain that all of the officers concerned in provide chain administration processes and senior managers of the division attend a workshop on the related laws and different authorized and coverage prescripts and directions of the Nationwide and Provincial Treasuries regulating the procurement of products and providers throughout the similar interval.

The MEC for well being should additional oversee to make sure that acceptable steps are taken in respect of disciplinary motion in accordance with the Public Finance Administration Act and relevant departmental insurance policies towards any resolution maker(s) “no matter place throughout all of the ranks of seniority that have been concerned in and liable for the non-compliance”.

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The Public Protector additionally discovered that the provision chain administration course of adopted by the provincial well being and/or public works and infrastructure departments within the identification and procurement of lodging to quarantine Covid-19 sufferers was in “contravention of relevant legal guidelines and authorized prescripts regulating procurement”.

Gcaleka stated claims of improper conduct and maladministration by the Jap Cape MEC for transport, security and liaison Weziwe Tikana-Gxotiwe and the 2 departments, regarding the procurement of products and providers, have been investigated.

Tikana-Gxotiwe was accused of being improperly concerned with Ukhanyo Travels and Occasions, Sitha Occasions, Mioca Lodge, owned by her daughter, and provide chain administration firm Vaxobyte, owned by her husband, in addition to influencing the awarding of tenders to them.

The allegations have been discovered to not be substantiated.

A grievance was lodged in Might final 12 months by an nameless member of the EFF within the Jap Cape Provincial Legislature that it examine the procurement of lodging to quarantine Covid-19 sufferers at Mioca Lodge and the procurement of products and providers by the provincial division of transport, security and liaison from Sitha Occasions.

The MEC was accused of being improperly concerned or influencing the awarding of enterprise to Sitha Occasions to supply tents and catering throughout stakeholder engagement conferences.

Based on the report, it was alleged that the method adopted to obtain lodging at Mioca Lodge was flawed and illegal and that provincial authorities spent public funds to render some renovations at Mioca Lodge in preparation for it to be a quarantine website.

“The complainant requested that we examine the connection between the MEC, Mioca Lodge and Ukhanyo Travels and whether or not contracts have been awarded to those entities because of the MEC’s affect and relationship with them,” she stated.

Two months later, additional complaints have been acquired from Dr Lwazi Ncapayi of Cala College College students Affiliation and UDM MP Bantu Holomisa in reference to the procurement of lodging at Mioca Lodge.

“Along with the request for investigation … it was alleged that, on 15 April 2020, the provincial public works division, the provincial well being division and the provincial govt council took a choice to accommodate about 18 Covid-19 sufferers at Mioca Lodge within the Cala Reserve space, owned by the daughter of the MEC, which resulted in a battle of curiosity on the MEC’s half as she was alleged to be the true proprietor of Mioca Lodge and has substantial pursuits in it,” Gcaleka stated.

“We discovered that the MEC was not improperly concerned with Ukhanyo Journey and Occasions, Sitha Occasions, Mioca Lodge and Vaxobyte and didn’t affect the awarding of tender(s) to them by provincial authorities departments.”

Gcaleka stated the MEC declared her relationship with Mioca Lodge, and her husband declared his relationship with the MEC in respect of the bid submitted by Vaxobyte. 

The 2 departments’ provide chain administration course of was, nevertheless, in contravention of relevant legal guidelines and authorized prescripts regulating procurement when it recognized and procured lodging from Mioca Lodge.

“To treatment this improper conduct and maladministration, the provincial well being HOD should take acceptable steps in respect of disciplinary motion towards the Director for the Chris Hani District of the division, [Nomeko] Kizza, in connection together with her position within the irregular procurement of lodging for Covid-19 sufferers and the fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred because of this thereof,” Gcaleka stated. “This should happen inside 60 days from the date of this report.”

Kizza, the report reads, “improperly requested the Jap Cape Division of Public Works to obtain lodging at Mioca Lodge to quarantine Covid-19 sufferers, with out approval or the delegated authority by the top of the [provincial health department] to take action”.

The HOD was additionally to take “acceptable steps to get better the fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred” in transporting the Covid-19 sufferers to and from Mioca Lodge, whereas the provincial Public Works HOD was to take disciplinary motion towards the division’s regional director for the Chris Hani area, Zamile Kalako, for his position within the irregular procurement by the division of lodging at Mioca Lodge.

Based on the report, Kalako “improperly accepted Kizza’s request to obtain lodging at Mioca Lodge, figuring out that the identification of quarantine amenities was the operate of the Division of Public Works and that Mioca Lodge was not on the record of accredited quarantine amenities, when it comes to the rules made below the Catastrophe Administration Act”.

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