Johannesburg - A man in his thirties who allegedly claimed up to R20m from the KwaZulu-Natal health department for work he never did as a service provider, has been arrested in Durban, the department said on Monday.
"It is alleged that the service provider... colluded with government employees to make fraudulent claims for work that was not done," department spokesperson Chris Maxon said in a statement.
"(He was) contracted by the department to provide cleaning and security services to various hospitals," he said.
The man was arrested on Friday evening by police.
Maxon said the man was believed to have been paid more than R700 000 in fraudulent claims, although the amount after investigations was apparently closer to R20m.
He allegedly submitted the claims between April and December last year.
"We are still conducting investigations so cannot say exactly when it happened and how much was supposedly taken," Maxon said.
The outcome of his appearance in the Durban Commercial Crimes Court on Monday was not yet finalised.
KZN health department head Sibongile Zungu said progress had been made in reducing fraud and corruption through "rigorous preventative measures" although other measures would be announced in due course.
Maxon said a department report presented to the KZN finance portfolio vommittee last week revealed that 24 high priority cases worth more than R1bn were under investigation.
"These range from human resource practice irregularity, supply chain management, qualifications and overtime fraud (to) corruption, nepotism, misconduct and negligence," he said.
"An interdepartmental task team (to turn our financial situation) was set up and is yielding positive results."