Almost R710-million is spent irregularly every year on security contracts for Gauteng hospitals, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Wednesday.
The provincial health department, in response to questions from the DA, said it was probing the alleged irregular expenditure.
DA spokesperson Jack Bloom said the total expenditure was provided by Gauteng Health MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko in an oral reply to a question during a sitting of the Gauteng Legislature on Tuesday.
Nkomo-Ralehoko said she's concerned that her department is without a fixed long-term security contract in place.
She said the department is currently in the process of advertising a new tender which is anticipated to be awarded early in the new financial year. However, in the meanwhile, the department is spending over R59-million on month-to-month security contracts at its facilities.
The MEC explained, "The security contracts are rolled over irregularly as there is currently no contract in place, only service level agreements are used to manage the contracts."
She said two previous tenders were advertised and cancelled due to irregularities and issues raised with the specifications by probity auditors.
Bloom said the security tenders were last advertised and awarded in November 2014 and were supposed to have expired two years later.
However, they have been extended on a month-by-month basis "despite annual warnings by the Auditor-General that it is irregular expenditure".
"I suspect there has been deliberate sabotage of the security tenders as politically connected people likely benefit from the existing contracts. These contracts are poor value as there have been major thefts at hospitals like Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg [Hospital] and Chris Hani Baragwanath [Hospital]," he said.
"The DA will closely monitor the award of the new security contracts to ensure they are cost-effective and go to competent companies that will protect our hospitals."
Nkomo-Ralehoko said the department’s Internal Control and Risk Management units are investigating the security contracts.
"Based on the outcomes of the internal investigation, consequence management will be implemented," she said.
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