Eleven public hospitals in Gauteng have reportedly spent R1.7 million on overpriced food from a business training company in Limpopo.
This information was disclosed by Gauteng Health and Wellness MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko in response to follow-up questions in the Gauteng Legislature.
The questions were raised to inquire about the use of a questionable Limpopo contract that includes companies not registered to sell food.
Leratong hospital stands out as the biggest purchaser of food from Mmanko Business Training and IT Solutions. The hospital paid R32 for a liter of milk, while supermarkets sell the same quantity for R16.
Additionally, the hospital paid R1263 for 10kg of frozen chicken breast, compared to R650 elsewhere. Another example is the purchase of 5kg of frozen hake for R1173, which is priced at R850 elsewhere.
The only reasonably priced item was 60 large eggs for R193.
Sizwe Tropical Hospital paid Mmanko a staggering R12,139 for 540 Mageu 500ml cartons, which amounts to R22.50 per carton, while most supermarkets sell them for R10.
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health, Jack Bloom, expressed suspicion over the inclusion of a training company in the food list for a Limpopo Health Department contract that the Gauteng Health Department decided to piggyback on.
Other questionable companies on the list include NM Motors and Workshop, Madics Security and Projects, and Musa Security Care.
The Department has stated that fresh vegetables, chicken breast and wings, milk, cheese, and yogurt are still being purchased using the Limpopo contract.
According to Bloom, the Department spent a total of R23.6 million on food for Gauteng hospitals through the Limpopo contract last year, as they are still in the process of preparing contracts to buy food locally.
“The decision to purchase overpriced food from a questionable contract in another province has been criticised, especially when there are many local food suppliers with competitive prices. This practice also excludes township businesses that could supply local hospitals,” said Bloom.
The DA has called for an immediate halt to food purchases using the Limpopo contract and an urgent investigation into who authorised it and who benefits from it.