Tuck-shop tender tiff

Khangale Makhado

Khangale Makhado

The Thusanani Christian Association of Disabled People yesterday accused the Limpopo health department of not prioritising the needs of the organisation.

The accusations follow the termination of its contract to operate a tuckshop within the Siloam Hospital's premises.

Thusanani acting director Lawrence Masakona said the organisation, which helps create employment for disabled people, had been operating the tuckshop since 1985.

Masakona said the tuckshop was the backbone of the organisation, which cared for more than 40 people with disabilities. Some of them worked in the tuck shop. They also manage another hospital tuck shop.

"The organisation promotes and protects the interests of people with disabilities, especially those who have none, or little income by providing them with the means of improving their lives," he said.

Problems started in November last year when the department put the tuckshop on tender.

Masakona said he received a letter on Monday informing him that the tender had been awarded to other people.

Masakona said it was strange that the department appeared to negate the interests and welfare of the disabled by kicking them out of the tuckshop.

Health and social development spokesman Phuti Seloba refuted claims that the department was not sensitive to the needs of the disabled.

Seloba said, while the issue of disability counted, it was not "an alpha and omega" in the tender evaluation process.

"If they are not satisfied with the way the tender was awarded, they can appeal," he said.