South Africa probes health tenders4th August 2010
Health authorities in Gauteng province, South Africa's wealthiest province and home to the national capital Johannesburg, have launched an investigation into 27 health department employees.
The Gauteng health department wants to recover more than 1 million rand (£90,000) from 27 employees.
Qedani Mahlangu, of the Gauteng provincial department of health, said that the allegations against the 27 employees included failure to disclose the fact they were directors of companies which they then used in order to appropriate public health funds for their own use.
She said the employees' companies had benefited from government tenders awarded to them.
She said the Gauteng health department had also suspended a senior emergency services official while it investigated allegations of fraud and misconduct.
Officials will also be taking a closer look at the accounts of the Takalani Home for Mentally Disabled in Diepkloof, which received grants from the South African Social Security Agency.
Although Gauteng is South Africa's smallest province, it is also home to South Africa's largest city, with up to 10 million people in greater Johannesburg alone.
Mahlangu said that the Gauteng health department planned to take stern measures against employees who misused public funds.
Recently, other health departmental authorities in South Africa have come under fire for their use of funds.
The Eastern Cape health department has said that it plans to ask for about about 1.7 billion rand (£150 million) in order to cover its current debts.
Several days ago, South Africa's Public Service Accountability Monitor (PSAM) issued a statement showing that health authorities in Eastern Cape province had been mismanaging public funds.
According to the statement, the Eastern Cape Department of Health has consistently received poor audits from the South African Auditor General over a 10-year period.
Recently, health authorities in Eastern Cape province have not had enough medicines for patients, and have even lost telephone connections to hospitals because of unpaid bills.
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Title: South Africa probes health tenders
Author: Luisetta Mudie
Article Id: 15700
Date Added: 4th Aug 2010