Isak Fritz, MPL
DA Provincial Spokesperson on Social Development:
The Democratic Alliance will be submitting written questions to the Department of Health to determine the exact extent of a new construction scandal. This follows the admission by the department today that contractors have been appointed purely because of political intervention.
This shocking admission was made during the tabling of the third quarterly report of the department. The contractor appointed for the construction of the Kagung Clinic seems to have used political muscle to obtain the contract. The contract with the specific contractor had been terminated twice because of poor performance. According to the department, the contractor then sought “political intervention” which saw him re-instated.
The department has since requested that the work on the clinic must be performed by a sub-contractor. Currently, only 30% of the work has been done. We want to know how long it will take for the clinic to be opened. We are also concerned about the costs, as the costs tend to increase as projects drag on.
The DA condemns the misuse of political connections to win any sort of government tender, especially when the contractor does not have the capacity to actually deliver on the contract. A contractor that has already been penalised for poor performance should not be given the scope to continue working in government; he or she should be blacklisted and barred from further government work. It cannot be that your political connections allow you to waste government funds and not deliver the services that are urgently needed.
We are very concerned about the department’s acknowledgement that, in other contracts, it has appointed contractors without the required engineers or designers. This resulted in external service providers being appointed. Why can’t the department appoint the correct service providers the first time around?
We call for the Portfolio Committee on Health to convene an urgent meeting and to summon all stakeholders so that we can get to the bottom of these allegations.