A R1.2-billion Gauteng government project, which was supposed to be a lifebuoy when the Covid-19 peak hit (it has now passed), was not put out to public tender, instead the companies were chosen from a pre-approved list of providers. While this in itself could possibly be above board, the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development has declined to answer important questions, hiding behind the fact that a Special Investigating Unit probe has kicked off.
Maverick Citizen visits to the construction sites at some hospitals made it clear that promised projects are still far from complete and that they may, as health workers warned, end up being white elephants. This is because their design is specifically geared for intensive care and will need further money to repurpose it for other uses.
The Covid-19 ICU field hospital programme is on the radar of the Special Investigating Unit.
The Presidential Proclamation R.23 of 2020 states: "The Special Investigating Unit are to investigate:
The procurement of, or contracting for, goods, works and services, including the construction, refurbishment, leasing, occupation and use of immovable property, during, or in respect of the national state of disaster,...