DispatchLIVE reported that Phathilizwi Training Institute submitted invoices of R3m and R1.8m in May for four days' work. The company claimed to have embarked on a door-to-door campaign in Mhlontlo, Port St Johns and Nyandeni municipalities, teaching residents about the dangers of the coronavirus.
The invoices, which were leaked online, have received widespread condemnation with the DA laying a complaint with the police and the Hawks launching an investigation.
Mabuyane did not mince his words, saying those found to be in the wrong would be held to account.
“We were not surprised when it happened because we knew there will be chance-takers who would use the pandemic to get rich quickly,” he said, adding they had instructed accounting officers to be extra-vigilant before approving payments.
A conviction in the invoices saga would serve as a deterrent to other would-be looters, he said.
Mabuyane said he was happy the Hawks were already investigating, and said co-operative governance & tradition affairs MEC Xolile Nqatha would also investigate the matter.Mabuyane said although quarantine facilities in the province had not reached 50% capacity, the government was converting 18 state-owned facilities including museums, school hostels, nursing colleges and training centres into field hospitals.
He said a major problem in the province was infected people who refused to be quarantined at state facilities.
He urged people with underlying conditions not to isolate at home.
“Come to hospital. We have created beds in hospitals for isolation. When you need oxygen and a ventilator you must be able to get help immediately. We are a vulnerable province and we know the health profiles of our people.”