Medical waste is in a mess

2016-01-15 11:00
Daymed housekeeping supervisor Eleanore Landers, maintenance manager Dickson Anafi and hospital manager Roy Sookraj inspect the waste found at World’s View plantations.

Daymed housekeeping supervisor Eleanore Landers, maintenance manager Dickson Anafi and hospital manager Roy Sookraj inspect the waste found at World’s View plantations. (Chelsea Pieterse, The Witness)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pietermaritzburg - The Democratic Alliance believes the KZN medical waste sector may be rotting in corruption and has likened the industry to a “mafia operation”.

DA spokesperson on health Dr Wilmot James released a statement this week that claims that the KZN Department of Health is spending R100 million a year on medical waste removal but the sole contractor providing medical waste disposal in the province has a contract value of only R53 million.

James’s unravelling of the provincial coffers is part of a nationwide campaign he is leading in cleaning up the industry.

“I am writing to the Auditor-General [A-G] to investigate why it is that the National Department of Health (DoH) declared that, in the 2013/2014 financial year, provinces, excluding the Northern Cape and Mpumalanga, spent R437 million on the removal of medical waste and yet, it was recently learnt from medical waste removal business insiders, that they were paid R328 million – R109 million less – for their services,” said James.

He said “KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape” are the worst transgressors.

“The department has revealed through parliamentary questioning that there is only one medical waste provider in KZN. That is Compass Waste [based in Westville]. However, when I asked them what they were paid in the same accounting period and compared it to what the state says they are paying, there is a massive shortfall of R47 million,” said James.

He said the industry operated like the “mafia” and would need extensive probing by authorities.

He said he would be “visiting” the province shortly and include it in his province-by-province tour to tackle corruption within the sector.

Compass Waste owner Ian du Randt said while he would wait for further investigation into the discrepancy flagged by the DA, he said corruption was “common place” in the medical waste sector. Du Randt confirmed they were paid R53 million for services provided in the 2013/2014 financial year.

“Supply chain rules are not always adhered to and often when irregular awards are legally challenged there is a lack of respect for the judicial process and in some cases, judges’ orders are blatantly ignored or circumvented,” said Du Randt.

He said KZN is the main medical waste generator, due to population density, followed by Gauteng, Western Cape and Eastern Cape.

“We believe [collusion and corruption] is a national problem and are concerned that it may get out of control. Ideally, it should be addressed head on with a zero tolerance approach,” said Du Randt.

The KZN Health Department was unable to respond at the time of going to print.

In 2013 the Department of Environmental Affairs, tasked with overseeing that the companies involved adhere to environmental protocol, likened the industry to “organised crime”, claiming tender corruption, greed and “fierce competition” was rife in the industry, valued in excess of R500 million.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  medical waste

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.