Mchunu looking into R61m KZN health tender

2015-04-17 19:21

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Durban - A R61m tender for four mobile clinics in KwaZulu-Natal is receiving the attention of the province's premier.

When asked whether there were any investigations being carried out, Premier Senzo Mchunu said: "I have been made aware of it and we are attending to it."

He did not elaborate any further as he left a press conference where he had spoken on the xenophobia plaguing the province.

In January, it emerged that included in the tender was a deal to lease a truck and trailer that had a standard X-ray machine for three years from Mzansi Lifecare for R52.5m. At the end of the lease the department would not even own the vehicle.

Mzansi was registered a mere 17 days before the department published a request for information "for provision of universal mobile unit/s for provision of Integrated Health Services in KZN" in the Government Gazette of June 15 2012.

On August 2 2013, Dr Sibongile Zungu, the embattled head of the KwaZulu-Natal health department, signed off on the tender, agreeing the department would pay Mzansi Lifecare R1.5m every month to lease the vehicle without staff.

It is not known how the bid evaluation committee and finally the bid adjudication committee reached the conclusion that Mzansi Lifecare's bid was the best one.

However, Richard M Dinse, the vice president of LifeLine Mobile, a company based in the US state of Ohio that manufactures such vehicles, said his company could supply a 12m-long vehicle with a comparable floor plan and an X-ray and ultrasound machine for about $1.1m (R12.5m at the current exchange rate). That price, he said, would include a tent, training and warranty costs.

"As I mentioned previously, this is the sale price, not a lease agreement," he said at the time after having viewed the plans of the bus the department was leasing for R52.8m.

KwaZulu-Natal health spokesperson, Sam Mkhwanazi, at the time confirmed that the department had procured only two vehicles - one was a "School Health Team bus [eye, dental and primary health care]", bought outright from Mobile Satellite Technologies (MST) for R4.9m and the other was the leased mobile hospital unit for R52.5m.

MST also confirmed that it was being paid about R100 000 a month by the department for the R4.9m vehicle's operational costs.

Both the DA and the IFP at the time called for an investigation, while unions condemned the unwanted expenditure.

However, since the revelation, Mchunu's comment on Friday is the first response from the government since it was made public.

Read more on:    senzo mchunu  |  durban  |  health  |  tenders

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