Gauteng Health wasted R500 million on Telkom contract

The Gauteng Health Department wasted R500 million on a data storage contract with Telkom which was awarded on 11 September 2014 but has now been found to be totally unnecessary.

This information is revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

According to Ramokgopa, the V-Block contract “was awarded based on the Gauteng Department of Finance Memorandum of Understanding agreement with Telkom” and it was “to renew the dilapidated back-end infrastructure through the procurement of a converged (storage and computing) solution.”

It is unbelievable that this wasteful contract was awarded when the data storage facility at the provincial government’s e-governance department could have been used instead.

Ramokgopa says that the motivation was made by the previous Chief Information Officer and was supported by the Chief Financial Officer and granted by the Head of Department.

This is either a massive blunder or corruption was involved.

It’s a huge blow to the struggling health department which is desperately short of money to pay suppliers and provide quality care to millions of patients.

Ramokgopa says that there is currently an investigation under way which I hope is wide-ranging and should involve criminal prosecutions if the evidence shows corruption.

We need to know if former Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu was involved in this contract and who else benefitted that should be held to account.

Efforts should also be made to recover as much of this money as possible.