by Adriana Randall MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Finance
According to a reply to questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, the MEC for Health, Dr Gwen Ramokgopa, indicated that the department is in the process of eradicating procurement through the solicitation of price quotations for any procurement that is less than R500 000.
The DA is concerned that this irrational move will open the system up to corruption.
The MEC says that this is being done to ensure efficiencies in the department’s procurement process.
If this system is not open and transparent it could lead to officials in the department giving the contracts to only one supplier, without any competition and favouring contractors which they may know personally.
Considering that the Gauteng Department of Health is already mired in corruption allegations stemming from Brian Hlongwa’s tenure as MEC, we would expect the department to be more concerned about cleaning up its image and strengthening its procurement processes.
This new process will potentially disadvantage some of the businesses particularly the small township businesses that may have been providing goods and services to the department.
These businesses are making a positive contribution towards the local economy and may also be forced to shed jobs if they are not able to provide goods and services to the department.
It is clear that the ANC-led government in Gauteng is only looking after its own interests and has no intention of rooting out corruption.
It is also the responsibility of the government to create an enabling environment for job creation and by bypassing the three-quote system government is failing in its mandate.
We will be tabling questions to ascertain exactly how the new process will work and what measures are being put in place to ensure that the residents of Gauteng receive the health services they deserve.
The people of Gauteng deserve change which puts the people first by ensuring open and transparent processes that eliminate corruption, not facilitate it.