Failed R10m scooter ambulance project halted after court interdict

Failed R10m scooter ambulance project halted after court interdict

- The controversial project to use scooters as ambulances in the Eastern Cape has been put on hold after the SIU has been granted an order interdicting the endeavour

- The contract has been set aside, pending an investigation, on Friday preventing any work involved to continue

- The respondents involved in the failed R10 million project opted out of opposing the application

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The Special Investigating Unit has been granted an order preventing the Eastern Cape government from moving ahead with the now-infamous R10 million project to use scooters as moble clinics and patient transport.

The controversial project was propelled into the spotlight after Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize was spotted posing alongside a sample of the ambulance, which had been in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Citizens had been furious over this seemingly disrespectful mode of transport meant to take the sick to hospital during the crisis, with Mkhize later dubbing it a failed project.

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The Eastern Cape Health MEC appeared before the Special Tribunal on Friday. Image: GCIS/ Flickr
Source: UGC

News24 reported that Special Tribunal spokesperson Selby Makgotho had confirmed this project has now been brought to a grinding halt:

"The contract has been nullified and set aside, based on the allegations of financial irregularities as advanced by the SIU before the Special Tribunal today."

Earlier, reported that the R10 million project to use 100 scooters as mobile clinics during the Covid-19 pandemic has seen Eastern Cape MEC Sindiswa Gomba taken on.

The Special Investigating Unit's special tribunal will be hearing her side of the story on Friday after financial irregularities were discovered.

Gomba had blamed apartheid for the embarrassing initiative, claiming that the pandemic had exposed the “weaknesses of our health system, and that is linked to the design of apartheid infrastructure. Our people must be dragged in wheelbarrows to access health services”.

Tribunal spokesperson Selby Makgotho commented that the tender had been awarded in an unusual manner, continuing to say that:

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“Furthermore, it is alleged that the contract was marred by irregularities and irrationality and that it was awarded in unusual and unexplained haste. It is further contended that the department, on hearing of the SIU investigations, resolved that the scooter[s] be modified and continue with the tender with Fabkomp as the service provider and that such a modification constitutes a fresh contract.”

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