Report reveals nepotism, procurement corruption in public health

According to Corruption Watch's findings, Gauteng has the greatest number of reported cases of corruption in the sector followed by KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga.

Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Corruption Watch has said it received almost 700 reports relating to fraud, bribery, irregularities in the awarding of tenders, and nepotism in the public health sector.

In its latest report, the organisation has reviewed the critical state of the country's health system and how those reliant on services in the public sector bear the brunt of criminality.

According to its findings Gauteng has the greatest number of reported cases of corruption in the sector followed by KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga.

With the number of COVID-19 infections projected to increase drastically in South Africa, tens of thousands of residents will be relying on the more than 4,300 public health facilities in the country.

Corruption Watch said the most prevalent forms of misconduct in the health sector were employment corruption at 39%, procurement corruption at 22% followed by the misappropriation of resources at 16%.

The organisations Melusi Ncala said, “Thirty-nine percent of the cases speak about employment corruption, we are looking at issues of nepotism, favouritism. A similar story can be told about the misappropriation of funds where we see officials making use of equipment by the state for their own benefit.”

Ncala said procurement corruption – in the form of medical supplies, counterfeit drugs, preferential treatment of suppliers and inflated prices – remained the greatest area concern.

“When we talk about procurement corruption, we are talking about companies already doing business with the state, or bidding to do business with the state, paying kickbacks to officials so that they can get preferential treatment.”

The reports reveal that Limpopo made up half of the reported cases on procurement corruption followed by the Free State and the Western Cape.