South Africa

Gauteng Health receives R322m in PPE donations

Gauteng Health receives R322m in PPE donations

As the ANC in Gauteng mulls over the fate of provincial health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku, his department has lauded stakeholders who have donated more than R322m in personal protective equipment (PPE).

Acting health MEC Jacob Mamabolo, in a statement, lauded the role played by many stakeholders who made various types of donations that ensured the province was able to cope at the height of the Covid-19 infections.

Mamabolo said since the declaration of the lockdown in March 2020, the province had received donations ranging from hospital beds to infrastructure development and vehicles, with an estimated value of more than R322m.

Mamabolo said PPE worth more than R239m was distributed to health facilities in the province.

This varied from N95 masks to surgical masks, hand sanitisers, soaps, coveralls, gowns, aprons, goggles, visors, mobile testing stations and test kits.

Mamabolo said the donations were a source of motivation for health-care workers during a difficult period and helped affirm the message that “we are not alone in the fight against Covid-19”.

“Donations play an instrumental role in the work we do as part of Gauteng’s overall health response to the pandemic and beyond. As we ready ourselves for a possible surge ... in infections in the coming months we will keep on receiving whatever help we can get from generous donors,” he said.

He said relationships with various stakeholders would have to be maintained to ensure they continued beyond the Covid-19 pandemic as the country got ready for the rollout of the NHI. “The Gauteng provincial government is committed to the implementation of the NHI as a system for providing better access to quality health care for all,” he said.

The provincial government is facing a R2bn PPE scandal which led to Masuku and President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khusela Diko being placed on special leave. Masuku’s wife, Loyiso, who is a member of Johannesburg's mayoral committee, has also stepped aside until the ANC takes a decision on her future. The ANC in Gauteng decided to extend their leave of absence by at least three weeks as they deal with the contents of the party’s integrity commission’s report.

The ANC Gauteng provincial executive committee (PEC) has decided against adopting the report by its integrity commission which, according to insiders, was riddled with “inconsistencies, contradictions and provided inadequate information”, SowetanLIVE reported on Wednesday.

The three were placed on a month's leave in July after the scandal was exposed.

Diko’s husband Thandiziwe Diko’s company, Royal Bhaca, was awarded a multimillion-rand Covid-19 PPE tender. The Masukus and the Dikos are friends.

Last week, Vusi Mokoena, the acting chief director of supply chain management at the Gauteng department of health, was placed on suspension for allegedly breaching PPE procurement rules. He is to face disciplinary charges.

This was revealed by Mamabolo on Tuesday.

Mokoena was appointed to the post in August following disciplinary charges against Thandi Pino, who was head of the unit. Mamabolo said the allegations against the official were that he failed to follow proper processes in the procurement of PPE.

Mamabolo added that the checks and balances introduced after the PPE scandal came to light were beginning to yield results.