Premier Stan Mathabatha has responded to allegations made by the Democratic Alliance (DA) that a provincial company is earning R2,2 million a month for rendering laundry services to provincial hospitals despite not being equipped with the necessary washing machines, dryers and irons to do so.
According to the DA this is apparently one of several companies who were awarded lucrative laundry contracts without meeting the basic valuation requirements and do not have the required equipment to render the services.
During a press briefing at the Office of the Premier on Tuesday, Mathabatha, in response to the widely publicised allegations said in the 2014/15 financial year a resolution was taken by the Department of Health to in source laundry services in the medium to long term. “The resolution was taken during a workshop hosted by the Minister of Health and the Premier. This meant that hospital based laundries were to be built, refurbished or rehabilitated. Furthermore, the department was to procure laundry services to assist institutions whilst addressing all the laundry challenges in the province,” Mathabatha said.
“The Department of Health then advertised a bid for accreditation of service providers for rendering laundry services for a period of three years. The accreditation will only convert into a contract immediately when a hospital activates its right to source services from the accredited bidder. The accreditation award was done in July 2015 as per SCM prescripts.
“The Provincial Government rejects the reports that we have awarded anyone a contract that is worth R2,2 m a month. We view such reports as exaggerated and malicious. We do not shy away from dealing with any corrupt element within our ranks. We confirm that 22 hospitals were awarded to Mphefhedzi Business Enterprise on the basis of accreditation for a period of three years which does not translate into R2,2 m expenditure a month. Mphefhedzi Business Enterprise was awarded the contract on the basis of the technical evaluation, the price and preferential points scored,” Mathabatha said.
“As the Limpopo Provincial Government we view the allegations of Supply Chain Management irregularities as very serious and we will conduct an investigation on the matter. If we find any form of irregularity or transgression remedial action will be instituted against the wrongdoers. However, The Provincial Treasury has already been instructed to review the bid processes followed for the award. We are committed to running a transparent and clean administration. We will not tolerate any form of corruption regardless of who is involved in it.
“The Department of Health has a standardised specification for laundry services that have been distributed to all the CEO’s of hospitals in the province. Seshego Hospital has deviated from these specifications in the procurement of laundry services on quotation with the current service provider. The department has begun identifying the officials who are responsible for this non-compliance. Appropriate action will be taken against the non-complying officials,” concluded Mathabatha.
Story: Herbert Rachuene