Gauteng health gets go ahead to appeal order against waste tender

The Johannesburg High Court has granted the Gauteng health department leave to appeal a judgement passed by the same court that reviewed and set aside medical waste tenders awarded to two service providers worth over R500 million.

In a judgement delivered on Friday by acting judge Ahmed Cajee, he said he is convinced that the Gauteng health department has made a strong case for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA).

The applicants in the application are Gauteng Health Department MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko, the head of the department of Gauteng Health, Lesiba Malotana, and the chairperson of the bid adjudication committee, among others.

The respondent is Buhle Medical Waste (Pty) Limited.

In his judgement, Cajee said: “I am of the view that the Supreme Court of Appeal could reasonably find that, despite the fact that the original tender ended on the 17th of November 2022 without being validly extended, that on facts of this case too long a period had elapsed and too much had occurred subsequently in the furtherance of the tender to justify the order that I granted.

“To this end, the SCA may reasonably find that the fact that the invalid extension of the tender period after the 17th of November 2022 was not challenged timeously to be a critical factor in this regard… In the premises, I grant the application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeals, with costs to be in appeal.”

Last year, Buhle Medical Waste submitted an urgent application at the Joburg High Court to interdict Tshenolo Waste (Pty) Limited and Phuting Medical Waste (Pty) Limited from commencing with their services pending the outcome of a review application of the department’s decision to award the two companies the tender contracts.

Tshenolo Waste had been awarded a R314 million contract to collect and dispose of medical waste in Tshwane and Johannesburg, while Phuting Medical Waste received a R211 million contract for the West Rand, Sedibeng, and Ekurhuleni areas. The court set aside the tenders in November.

The Gauteng health department then announced its intention to appeal the court’s decision.

Meanwhile, on Friday, Cajee also dismissed an application by Buhle Medical Waste to grant an order that the judgement of November last year of setting aside the awarded contracts be executed and put in place while the matter is pending appeal at the SCA.

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