Home South African Govt spent R41m on hotels as quarantine, isolation sites

Govt spent R41m on hotels as quarantine, isolation sites

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Report shows that 28 hotels were paid for accommodating people from high-risk areas

Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille. File picture: David Ritchie / African News Agency/ANA

PUBLIC Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille has revealed that R41.1 million was spent on hotels to accommodate people from high-risk areas for isolation and quarantine purposes during the Covid-19 pandemic.

De Lille revealed this in a written response to parliamentary questions from Freedom Front Plus MP Philip van Staden.

Van Staden had asked the names of the institutions that were paid, amounts paid and whether contracts were entered into with the institutions.

The question was prompted by the minister’s previous response to the portfolio committee on public works and infrastructure on May 4 where she told MPs that R28.6m was paid to privately-owned facilities used as quarantine facilities.

In her response, De Lille said the department had estimated an allocated R28.6m to be used for privately-owned facilities as isolation and quarantine facilities.

“This amount was tentative based on the estimated number of beds that would be used over this period. The department informed me as at July 13 it paid R41 148 348.05 to institutions for the use of privately-owned facilities for quarantine or isolation sites,” she said.

De Lille’s report showed that 28 hotels were paid for accommodating people from high-risk areas.

These included Birchwood Hotel, Capital Empire hotels, Centurion Hotel, City Lodge hotels, Coastlands hotels, Farm House Guesthouse, Indaba Hotel (The Sandton Indaba), Ivy Hotel and Spa.

Others are Leisure Trade Investment, Mannah Executive Guest Lodge Hotel, Mercure Hotel Bedfordview, Protea hotels, Radisson Blu Gauteng, Signature Lux Hotel Foreshore and Peermont Global.

De Lille said service-level agreements were signed with each of the private establishments.

She also said her department identified and made the quarantine facilities available for use by the Department of Health.

“As at July 3, a total number of 5 986 sites have been identified as proposed sites and geo-located, representing more than 208 000 beds across the country. Of that 653 are estate-owned facilities and 5 333 are privately owned,” De Lille said.

The minister also said 431 facilities had been assessed by the Department of Health and found to be compliant as isolation and quarantine sites, with 41 315 beds.

Meanwhile, the minister said costs of refurbishment for the SAPS Tshwane West College as a quarantine site were estimated at R905 144 54.

De Lille also said a further R322 041 was spent on additional procurement in order for the facility to meet the standard of a quarantine site.

The minister was responding to DA MP Samantha Jane Graham, who had asked about the cost of the Tshwane West College refurbishment, name of contractor appointed to do the job and scope of work done, among others.