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Scopa writes to Mboweni, Mkhize calling for open vaccine tender process

On Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa personally received the first consignment of a million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

FILE: Scopa chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa. Picture: @MkhulekoHlengwa/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - Parliament’s finance watchdog Scopa has on Tuesday written a letter to the Minister of health Zweli Mkhize and Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni calling for an open tender process for vaccine storage and distribution.

The committee said corruption in personal protective equipment (PPE) procurement last year could not be allowed again.

On Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa personally received the first consignment of a million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

IN FULL: Ramaphosa's 'family meeting' notes 1 February 2021

It’s a case of once bitten twice shy for Scopa when it comes to COVID-19 government spending.

The committee said the vaccine rollout should not be a repeat of last year’s PPE procurement scandals, which had over 600 dodgy contracts amounting to more than R5 billion.

WATCH: Touchdown! First COVID-19 vaccine doses arrive in JHB

Scopa chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa said they had asked the two ministers to ensure there was a transparent public adjudication of the tender processes.

ASLO READ: Are the COVID-19 vaccines in a safe place? Yes, says Biovac CEO

The committee has also called on the executive to ensure all normal tender processes are adhered to.

“As you recall, there’s been announcements to that effect and we also need to put in place preventative measures that will ensure that this does not fall into the realm of corruption as well,” Hlengwa said.

The committee said the public purse was already overstretched due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the South African economy and Parliament couldn't be complacent in its oversight.

WATCH: Nobody will be forced to take the vaccine - Ramaphosa

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