The targeted number of sites had not been achieved, the AG disclosed.
“In planning the health response, it was expected that a high number of people would require facilities for quarantine and self-isolation. In total, 6,123 quarantine sites were initially targeted but by July 31, only 510 sites had been identified by the department of public works and only 192 had been activated for use by the department of health. The slow progress is partly as a result of poor co-ordination between the two departments, which also resulted in accountability for the sites being unclear and our audit efforts being hampered.”
The government had made more than R4.8bn available for field hospitals, he said.
“For this purpose, 66 projects were identified across the country — the money would be used either to upgrade current hospitals or build/use temporary structures to increase hospital beds. By June 30, only 18 of these projects had been completed.
“The audit of the procurement processes for appointing contractors only recently commenced as a result of delays in providing us with the information and documentation requested, but the audit teams have already identified non-compliance with legislation in the processes followed. This is another area in which there is a need for closer co-operation between the health and public works departments to monitor the demand for additional beds and the implementation of the initiative.”
Potential fraud has also been identified in the appointment of community workers meant to assist the department of health with screening.