Special Tribunal to hear R50m Gauteng hospital tender review application

The Special Tribunal is expected to hear an application by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to review a R50 million tender relating to the refurbishment of the Anglo Gold Ashanti Hospital in Gauteng.

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, the Gauteng Health Department awarded a tender to refurbish the hospital to Pro Serve Consulting and Thenga Holdings.

At least 200 to 250 beds – eyed for occupation by COVID-19 patients – were expected to be included in the refurbishment; the hospital’s radiology unit was also to be refurbished and new equipment was to be installed in the theatre.

However, major delays and the ballooning of costs to over R500 million resulted in the hospital being unavailable for at least two waves of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hospital opened 15 months later with only a handful of patients and staff.

In papers filed with the Tribunal, the SIU called the tender process “flawed, unlawful and invalid, and appears to have been embarked upon without any consideration given to the Treasury Regulations and Instructions Notes”.

“It is alleged that the appointment of Thenga Holdings was done by a panel whose legal mandate had expired. Even more concerning, reads the [SIU’s] founding affidavit, was that there had been no explanation for the increase in the costs of the refurbishment from an estimated R50 million to more than ten times that estimate being R588 [million] as at 18 June 2020,” the Special Tribunal said.

In September, the SIU was granted an order to freeze at least R7 million in the bank accounts of the two contractors.

Thenga Holdings and Pro Service are opposing the review application.

Source: South African Government News Agency