Health Minister Dr. Zweli Mkhize says that there is no room to tolerate corruption anywhere.
He was answering a question on the issue of the procurement of the Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), during a media briefing on Wednesday.
Last week Presidential Spokesperson Khusela Diko, Gauteng Health MEC Dr. Bandile Masuku, and his wife Loyiso Masuku went on a leave of absence amid a scandal over alleged irregularities relating to a R125-million PPE tender.
The Health Minister said that they (government) would uproot corruption and are determined to do so.
“Firstly that there is no room to tolerate corruption anywhere and the issue of the procurement of the PPEs also in the questions of on any other part of health services or government in general. I think the President has actually made the statements very clear in this regard and all Cabinet and all ministers are quite firm on the fact that we are going to uproot corruption and we are determined to do so.”
The Minister also emphasized that health care workers remain in the frontline of the battle against COVID-19.
He said that allegations that health care workers are contracting COVID-19 in the line of duty due to the lack of or poor quality of PPEs are concerning.
The number of infected healthcare workers is 24 104 and 1 81 fatalities.
“The Department of health notes with concern increasing allegations of health care workers contracting the coronavirus in the line of duty due to lack of or poor quality of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs). We have even received reports that some maybe dying after being infected due to the lack of sufficient PPEs or sufficient PPEs not being provided and or failure or neglect by management to adhere to prescribed workplace safety protocols. We want to outrightly state that this cannot be tolerated.”
Earlier, Dr. Mkhize announced that the World Health Organisation (WHO) would be sending 43 senior experts from across the globe to South Africa.
The first 17 experts will arrive in South Africa sometime on Wednesday and will complete a period of quarantine and initiation before being deployed in the department and other provinces.