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Johannesburg - The Mpumalanga health department has suspended a multi-million rand contract following a probe by Corruption Watch, the organisation said on Sunday.
It said two months ago it received a tip-off that there were irregularities in the awarding of a tender by the provincial department to Mkhago Health Care Services, a private company based in Mpumalanga.
“Corruption Watch investigated and found that in June this year, the company received a one-year contract from the department to circumcise 260 000 boys and men in the province, at a cost of R700 per circumcision,” it said in a statement.
“If all 260 000 circumcisions were performed, the contract would be worth in excess of R180-million. By law all contracts over R500 000 are to be awarded through a public competitive bidding process.”
Corruption Watch found the company presented a business proposal and there was no public tender for the contract, as required by law.
Mpumalanga health spokesman Ronnie Masilela confirmed the department had suspended the contract pending an investigation.
Corruption Watch director David Lewis said the suspension of the contract was a victory for the anonymous whistleblower who brought the case forward.
“We are hopeful that the department's investigation will single out all those involved in flouting supply-chain processes,” he said.
“We welcome the department's decision to suspend the contract while they carry out their investigation, which we will be following closely.”
Corruption Watch is a non-profit organisation launched in January 2012. - Sapa