South Africa: Measures in Place to Prevent Covid-19 Vaccine Distribution Corruption

Deputy President David Mabuza says the Inter-Ministerial Committee on COVID-19 Vaccines has put measures in place to prevent corruption and wasteful expenditure in the procurement and distribution of vaccines.

The Deputy President said this when he responded to oral questions in the National Council of Provinces on Thursday.

“The IMC has developed a Corruption Risk Mitigation Plan as one of the oversight mechanisms in the implementation of the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

“To give effect to this, the IMC has identified the potential risks related to the procurement of vaccines and mitigation strategies required to address such risks.

“In our view, procurement risk is greater when there are multiple purchasers and suppliers, with no uniformity of quality and effectiveness of the product.

“The ability to monitor and subsequently address corruption and malfeasance is difficult, as we saw with the procurement of personal protective equipment at the outbreak of the pandemic. In that case, there were multiple purchasers, suppliers and there was no uniformity of quality or effectiveness which led to corruption,” said Mabuza.

The Deputy President said in the case of COVID-19 vaccines, corruption and malfeasance will be limited by the fact that the market is highly regulated and there are only a few manufacturers.

“Further to this, the product is assessed by the regulator to conform to quality standards, and the procurement is centrally done at national level, which makes it easy to monitor.