Vaccine-Making SOE Denies Financial Woes

The state-owned and Pretoria-based Onderstepoort Biological Products (OBP) has denied Independent Media news reports that it is undergoing difficult times.

OBP is an animal vaccine-manufacturing company, whose mandate is to prevent and control animal diseases that affect food security, human health and livelihood. Inside sources allege it has been facing financial problems for years.

However, in response to the article carried on Wednesday (online) and yesterday (print), Lindiwe Mabena from the entity denied that OBP received a nearly R500 million allocation to upgrade its Good Manufacturing Process (GMP) facility in order to be able to produce vaccines of global standard.

“OBP did not receive an allocation of R492m from the Treasury for the upgrade, as is alleged by your source,” she said.

On the issue of the allegations of a mass staff exodus that has seen the chief financial officer, head of human resources and the head of legal affairs leaving and not being replaced, Mabena confirmed this, but said it did not hamper their work.

“These positions have little to no impact on the GMP project. The CFO and the head of HR resigned while on precautionary suspension and the head of legal resigned while on special leave.

“It must be noted that both the CFO and the head of HR resigned last month, while the head of legal resigned in October.

“All the incumbents resigned in the middle of a forensic investigation which was approved by the board in their meeting of July/August 2019.

The position of the head of legal has been advertised but this closed on December 13.

“The other two posts will be advertised in due course,” Mabena said. 


Written by AN

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