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Durban - KwaZulu-Natal's health department has withdrawn a tender for security, cleaning and landscaping following the leak of a potential contractor list, it said on Monday. 

The acting head of the provincial health department, Dr. Musa Gumede, said that the procurement process for the provision of the services at health facilities across KZN had been "contaminated" by the leak.

"[T]he KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health has decided to cancel and start over," said Gumede. 

He said the leaked documents were from the Technical Evaluating Committee and contained a list of service providers whose applications were being considered for forwarding to the Bid Evaluations Committee. 

"The premature sharing - including on social media -  of such information has contaminated the process, and means that whatever decision is taken henceforth regarding the appointment of successful bidders, is likely to cause strife among or even between the parties concerned," said Gumede. 

He said there was, however, no evidence that any of the applicants had been prejudiced "in any way". 

"The department is extremely concerned by this malicious breaching of its established internal document management protocols, and the compromising of the overall integrity of this procurement process - and is now investigating how this came about," he said. 

The department has made a request to provincial treasury to withdraw and restart the entire process. 

Gumede said the services that were being tendered for - currently on month-to-month contracts - would continue to be rendered  at hospitals, clinics and community health centres until the "challenge" had been resolved. 

African News Agency (ANA)