At least 49 Gauteng Education decontamanition contracts set aside

The Special Tribunal has reviewed and set aside at least 49 school contamination contracts by the Gauteng Education Department.

The service providers were part of a cohort of at least 280 service providers contracted by the department to clean, decontaminate and sanitise schools in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The contracts were worth at least R431 million and by late last year, at least 263 of the service providers had been paid.

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) had brought an application to have at least 173 of those contracts set aside and reviewed.

In its papers before the tribunal, the SIU alleged that these service providers were sourced through social media and phone calls, that they were not registered on the department’s service provider database and that they were given blanket amounts between R250 000 and R300 000 to clean department offices and schools.

The judgement found that least 49 of these contracts were invalid and ordered that profits made as a result of the contracts be returned to the department.

“[The] Special Tribunal ordered each of [the service provieders to]…submit a statement and debatement of account in respect of their appointment, performance and payment as a service provider to the Department to determine the profits derived thereof.

“If the accounting and the sum of profit determined is disputed by either the applicant or the respondent in question, these parties shall approach the Special Tribunal for an appropriate order. [If] the accounting and the sum of profits is not disputed… such profit shall be paid to the applicant within 15 days of such agreement,” the judgement said. – SAnews.