KZN Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu said this posed a serious challenge, and the hardest hit areas were uMlazi and Pinetown.
Picture: GCIS
KZN Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu said this posed a serious challenge, and the hardest hit areas were uMlazi and Pinetown. Picture: GCIS

'Forums' demand their slice of the PPE cake

By Thami Magubane Time of article published Jul 6, 2020

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Durban - Illegitimate business forums are using strong-arm tactics and disrupting the delivery of personal protective equipment (PPE) to schools in Durban, demanding they be given a portion of the business or profits generated from the distribution of the equipment.

KZN Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu said this posed a serious challenge, and the hardest hit areas were uMlazi and Pinetown.

He did not specify which forum was behind the disruptions.

Last week teachers in these areas complained they had not received any PPE and were concerned about welcoming back pupils in Grades 6 and 11 under such conditions.

“We are facing a serious challenge with the disruptions in the uMlazi and Pinetown areas. There are business people who are demanding they be given work in the delivery of the PPE.

“We believe that we are not dealing with genuine business people but with extortionists who really want to get business in an unethical way,” he said.

He added that the process of appointing businesses for the distribution of PPE had attracted more than 600 businesses. “However, these business forums did not participate in this process,” said Mshengu.

“They believe they can just go to the side and demand that they be given the work or a percentage of the profits. We call on the genuine business community to stand up and say ‘not in our name’, and we call on the community to reject this.

“So when you get reports about the non-delivery of PPE in uMlazi and Pinetown, know that it is because of that situation. We are engaging with the police and have spoken to the MEC for Community Safety to intervene. Fortunately, we also have the army in the province,” he said.

Mshengu said the government would not allow itself to be extorted, “as no government can operate in that manner”.

He said they would look to start with the deliveries to the affected areas today.

He added that deliveries to the other schools had started on Saturday, and were proceeding smoothly.

The Mercury

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