Gauteng MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi said he’s still uncertain how his department had spent about R430 million on decontamination, disinfection, deep cleaning and sanitization of schools and offices. According to a report compiled by the Head of Department and chief financial officer, it cost R270 000 for one primary school, R290 000 for a secondary school, R290 000 for a teachers’ centre, and R390 000 for a district office.

The DA has called on authorities to investigate the R431-million Gauteng education department has spent on disinfecting schools in the province, over a period of only three months. “Premier [David] Makhura should hold Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi accountable for these millions,” said DA Gauteng education spokesperson Khume Ramulifho.

Ramulifho said late last year, the department informed the Gauteng provincial legislature’s education portfolio committee that they had spent R15 000 per school for fogging and that Bidvest had also rendered this service to some of the schools for free. Lesufi said he was “dismayed” by the report.

The report also reveals the contract to sanitize, deep clean and decontaminate the schools were awarded to about 300 companies. The cheapest contract was R250 000 while the highest was R55m and awarded to Mapheceka Construction & Projects cc.

Some of the companies awarded contracts worth millions had only been in operation for a few months and didn’t even have websites. One of the companies, Insimu Projects (Pty) Ltd, was paid R13.9m for providing 51 services. Lesufi said he was consulting with relevant law enforcement agencies to investigate the process, including requesting the Auditor General to check and verify if there was value for money used. #ladi_jaja?

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