/ 10 December 2009

Contract between health dept, 3P must run course

The controversial contract between the Gauteng health department and consulting firm 3P will not be terminated, despite provincial health minister Qedani Mahlangu’s announcment in August this year that it would.

Judge Colin Lamont ruled on Thursday in the South Gauteng High Court that the department must proceed with the disputed extension of the contract for a further three years.

The Mail & Guardian reported earlier this year that the extension, worth R273-million to 3P, was for services that included a volleyball tournament costing R7-million. The contract was signed during former Gauteng health minister Brian Hlongwa’s tenure, and the M&G reported that 3P were being paid millions at a time when Gauteng’s hospitals did not have money for food and electricity.

The department has already paid 3P more than R300-million since 2007.

Judge Lamont ruled that the initial contract between the parties, which included an initial period plus an extension, was ‘valid and binding”, and that there were no administrative irregularities.