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NW Health Dept paying contractors without valid contracts, MPs told

Administrator Jeanette Hunter says that she’s hoping Treasury will come to the rescue with additional funding and to condone the illegal expenditure.

FILE: The North West Department of Health head office in Mahikeng. Picture: Masechaba Sefularo/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The shambles in the North West Department of Health has been laid bare in Parliament.

It is where unrest was sparked that plunged the province into chaos earlier this year.

An ad hoc committee of Parliament overseeing the intervention has heard that contractors are being paid without contracts in place.

Administrator Jeanette Hunter says she has no choice but to continue paying service providers and further contributing to irregular expenditure.

In the last financial year, the North West Department of Health ran out of money in just five months.

Hunter says that hospitals came to a standstill after an order was given to stop spending.

She says that so far in this financial year, only 20% of the budget has been spent, due to the civil unrest and workers’ strikes.

Hunter says that to make sure the money will last the entire year, she has to verify how it’s being spent.

But she’s discovering that payments are being made for services such as doctors’ accommodation and security without valid contracts in place.

"There’s almost close to 100 essential service contracts that expired between two years and a year ago."

Hunter says that she’s hoping Treasury will come to the rescue with additional funding and to condone the illegal expenditure.