The Eastern Cape Provincial Coronavirus Command Council welcomed the decision by the Provincial Department of Public Works and Infrastructure to procure properties for Covid-19 quarantine, isolation, and infrastructure upgrade services from the province’s small businesses. Premier Oscar Mabuyane, who heads the Council, said this after receiving a report from Public Works.
As part of its role in the implementation of the Province’s Covid19 containment and mitigation strategy, the Public Works and Infrastructure Department provides infrastructure upgrades of public health facilities and procures private properties for the quarantine and isolation of people under investigation for Covid-19 and those who need isolation after contracting the virus.
The role of the department provides economic spinoffs to local companies that are facing economic hardship as a result of the national lockdown.
According to a report presented to the Provincial Coronavirus Command Council, the department has spent R4.5 million for the procurement of quarantine facilities from small and medium enterprises owned by the people of the Eastern Cape province, as well as some leading accommodation facilities operating in the province, in a bid to protect jobs that would have been lost by workers in some of these facilities.
With regards to procurement of service providers for sanitisation of public buildings owned by the Public Works and Infrastructure Department, the department had spent R586 945. 40 on companies based in the Eastern Cape province, the Council heard.
On behalf of the Provincial Department of Health, the Provincial government is injecting R192. 6 million into the refurbishment of state-owned health care facilities across the province, benefiting thirty-seven (37) small businesses from the Eastern Cape that have been contracted by the Department for this massive infrastructure rollout.
With the numbers of people infected by the virus increasing, the Provincial Coronavirus Command Council welcomed the report that the departments of Health, Public Works and Infrastructure would make available 500-bed field hospitals in each district, which are designed to accommodate: 200 beds for PUIs (People under Investigation), 200 for Isolation (Mild asymptomatic) and 100 beds will be for high care.
Mabuyane said: “The amount of money we are spending on small and medium enterprises in our province is a good injection to these companies… we are assisting those in the hospitality industry, businesses within that sector’s value chain to have business activities during this hard time so that they can generate revenue and not completely close shop.”
Mabuyane said the procurement of goods and services from small businesses was one of the priorities of the current administration, and was pronounced as a top priority in the 2019 State of the Province Address.