Hand sani­tiser sup­plier ‘in­flates prices’

De Lille probes claim that cost to pub­lic is R9.50; but R79 when sold to pub­lic works depart­ment that she runs


PUB­LIC Works and In­fra­struc­ture Min­is­ter Pa­tri­cia de Lille said yes­ter­day her depart­ment was in­ves­ti­gat­ing al­le­ga­tions that a sup­plier was sell­ing hand sani­tiser to the pub­lic for R9.50 and at the in­flated price of R79 to the gov­ern­ment.

De Lille re­vealed this when she and her deputy, Nox­olo Kiviet, briefed the me­dia in Par­lia­ment on in­ter­ven­tions of her depart­ment and the con­struc­tion and built en­vi­ron­ment in­dus­try to Covid-19.

“We are in­ves­ti­gat­ing it. We have been alerted by a sup­plier that this is hap­pen­ing,” she said.

De Lille ex­pressed her dis­gust that some sup­pli­ers were re­sort­ing to in­flat­ing prices.

“It is very painful for me that in a time when we need to unite and stand to­gether, peo­ple see an op­por­tu­nity to make more money,” she said.

“If you can look at sur­faces that we need to sani­tise and clean up, I re­ally think it is im­moral… I think from R9.50 to R79 be­cause it is gov­ern­ment is just too much,” she said.

De Lille called on the pub­lic to alert them to un­scrupu­lous sup­pli­ers and poor qual­ity sani­tis­ers. “Un­less it has 60% of al­co­hol con­tent, it is not go­ing to help you. Peo­ple will be left un­der the false pre­text that they now have sani­tised their hands when, in fact, they have not,” she added.

The min­is­ter also told the me­dia that her depart­ment had iden­ti­fied 37 state-owned prop­er­ties that could be used as quar­an­tine sites in var­i­ous prov­inces.

“Some of these sites will be avail­able to peo­ple in in­for­mal set­tle­ments where there are no such fa­cil­i­ties.”

Ac­cord­ing to De Lille, teams in her depart­ment have been vis­it­ing all dis­tricts to ac­cess the prop­er­ties and the sites have been com­mu­ni­cated to Health Min­is­ter Zweli Mkhize.

She also an­nounced that some pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ments had al­ready availed their prop­er­ties to be used as quar­an­tine cen­tres.

The Free State has ad­vised about the Tromps­burg Hos­pi­tal and the Lady­brand Hos­pi­tal be­cause they were cur­rently be­ing used be­low ca­pac­ity.

KwaZulu-Natal has availed a num­ber of sites in Dur­ban North, Pi­eter­mar­itzburg, Richards Bay and Port Shep­stone.

Lim­popo also availed four prop­er­ties in Water­berg, Vhembe, Capri­corn and Mopani dis­trict. North West has a num­ber of sites, in­clud­ing four hos­pi­tals.

De Lille also an­nounced that R37.2 mil­lion will be spent to in­stall a fence within a month at the Beit­bridge bor­der post be­tween South Africa and Zim­babwe.

“This to en­sure that no un­doc­u­mented or in­fected per­sons cross into the coun­try, and vice-versa”.

She said she had in­voked emer­gency pro­cure­ment pro­ce­dures for the erec­tion and re­pairs of the bor­der fence.

“It was iden­ti­fied that a to­tal of 40km of 1.8m high fence has to be erected, 20km on ei­ther side of Beit­bridge.”

The con­trac­tor has al­ready been ap­pointed and was handed the site yes­ter­day to com­mence the work.

Kiviet said peo­ple from out­side the coun­try could en­ter via the bor­der post and the new mea­sure was to pre­vent il­le­gal en­try into the coun­try.

“That is a threat not only to the sur­round­ings but the whole coun­try; hence, the mea­sures have to be taken,” she said.

De Lille also said the mea­sures taken could not be viewed as xeno­pho­bia.

“What is im­por­tant for South Africa is we want to pro­tect our cit­i­zens and also pro­tect peo­ple com­ing into our coun­try,” she said, adding Beit­bridge had a high vol­ume of peo­ple com­ing through and leav­ing the coun­try, hence the emer­gency mea­sures.

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