Health: Call to end lease

2012-01-25 00:00

THE KZN Legislature’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) has called on the provincial health department to immediately terminate the multi-million rand Trizon Towers lease agreement, which has been dogged by controversy for the last six years.

In 2006, the department entered into a rental agreement for the Pietermaritzburg building for about R2,5 million a month.

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu), which led calls for the lease’s cancellation, claimed that there are also suspicions that proper procedures were not followed in the acquisition of the lease.

During the health department’s appearance before Scopa yesterday, all parties registered their dismay that the lease is still in place and called on the department to terminate it.

Health MEC, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, said all evidence points towards the fact that something irregular happened in the deal, as the department did not need the extra space.

Head of department Dr Sibongile Zungu said the department is investigating suspected irregularities and will await legal advice on how to proceed.

The hearing also dealt with the department’s R401 million irregular expenditure in the 2011/2011financial year, as well questions over movable tangible capital assets, which contributed to it receiving a qualified opinion from the auditor-general during this financial year.

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