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There are measures to minimise COVID-19 vaccine corruption, says Treasury

With no funding already set aside for the COVID-19 vaccination, Treasury has had to work with the Health Department to approve various deviation requests to ensure that monies were freed up for the programme.

FILE: Treasury has had to implement central emergency procurement to acquire the shots. Picture: 123rf.com

JOHANNESBURG - Treasury said it trusted that measures put in place to control the acquisition of COVID-19 vaccines would minimise the opportunity for corruption.

This comes on the back of mass corrupt activities, which took place during the rollout of personal protective equipment (PPE) last year.

The Special Investigating Unit is still probing cases amounting to billions of rands.

READ: If SA needs to borrow to fund COVID-19 vaccinations, then so be it - CDE

With no funding already set aside for the COVID-19 vaccination, Treasury has had to work with the Department of Health to approve various deviation requests to ensure that monies were freed up for the programme.

Treasury has had to implement central emergency procurement to acquire the shots.

However, as this takes place, questions are raised about how government will prevent a repeat of the PPE scandal.

“Procurement would be done centrally; the agreements are signed centrally. So it also minimises the opportunity for corruption because it’s central record-keeping and central contact with manufacturers and further allows us for more negotiation strategies,” said Treasury’s chief director for strategic procurement Estelle Setan.

READ: Business community ready to assist in COVID-19 vaccination roll out

Director general Dondo Mogajane also announced that the 2021 Budget Speech would be presented to Parliament on 24 February.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni will outline some of the options taken up to fund the vaccines.

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