by Harold McGluwa – DA Northern Cape Provincial Chairperson & Chief Whip of the Provincial Caucus
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Date: 15 August 2018
The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Northern Cape is probing the appointment of contractors who are installing JoJo tanks at health facilities in the Northern Cape.
A case where two massive JoJo tanks were set up at the Maatjieskloof clinic in Springbok has raised suspicions with regards to possible irregularities relating to the contract. It has come to light that shoddy workmanship seems to be at play, as the tanks have been erected on weak structures, which are already breaking under the pressure of the filled JoJo tanks. Water has also been seen overflowing from one of the tanks.
Given that the contractors are based in Limpopo, this in effect means that no one is available to manage technical challenges such as the water overflows, when they occur. This has enraged local residents.
Contractors from the Namaqua district have meanwhile aired their dissatisfaction that they were sidelined by the provincial Health Department, which signed up the Limpopo contractor instead of even considering local contractors.
What seems especially suspicious is the fact that the Limpopo contractor, along with his workers from Limpopo, seem to know nothing about the respective areas where the JoJo tanks have been allocated and, in turn, the water capacity needs of the various facilities. In this regard, the Springbok clinic has had two massive tanks installed, which seems a bit over the top, given that the specific service area is small and does not suffer from water-related challenges.
The DA will submit parliamentary questions to seek clarity on the tender processes that were followed in the awarding of the contract. Given the poor quality of workmanship, we want to determine what criteria applicants had to comply with to be eligible for this contract and on what grounds the Limpopo contractor was awarded the tender.
Having back-up water supplies at health facilities has become increasingly important, given increasing drought conditions in the province as well as water-related challenges facing municipalities. This is crucial to ensure uninterrupted provision of health care services to the sick.
Back-up water supplies, however, should ensure quality and cost efficiency and must not be hijacked by connected officials and tenderpreneurs.
Only change under a DA-led government will put an end to corruption in the health sector and ensure that funds are channelled towards improving health care services and not filling the pockets of unscrupulous officials.