shoddy sanitiser story


It is sad news we share this story on Mandela Day, Mandela’s famous saying is “Education is a weapon you can use to change the world” and Mandela loves children very much, on 23 June 2020 we shared the story “More Than 180 Learners At Eastern Cape School Test Positive for COVID-19”,  and today we update you on one of the root causes of this spread as being shoddy sanitisers or we can say substandard PPE that is being sold by some SMMEs to government.

Source is UNICEF

Supplying Personal Protection Equipment (“PPE”) that is inferior quality to maximise on profit is disgusting, unethical and is  “attempted murder” is in the PPE supply business not merely for money reasons, but we know that people with poor maths and science like it is the case in South Africa generally, will have challenge when it comes to verifying the quality of PPE they source, all PPE is tested, has valid certificates and so quality assured,.

Legal action has been ordered against a company that supplied sanitisers to Makaula Senior Secondary School – where 204 pupils and staff tested positive for Covid-19 – for “defrauding” the education department, in fact we believe all companies who supply such products must face criminal charges.

This is after a report in possession of the Eastern Cape Department of Health revealed that sanitisers used at the 1 000-bed boarding school, and nine other schools in the district, was sub-standard and contained very low volumes of alcohol.To kill germs, levels of alcohol in a bottle of sanitiser must be at least 70%. 


The test, conducted by Rhodes University pharmaceutics professor Roderick Walker, has shown that samples of sanitiser supplied to Makaula only contained 57.6% alcohol, Timeslive reported.

Walker had conducted tests on sanitisers supplied to 10 schools in the Alfred Nzo District, with results showing alcohol contents ranged from 4.1% to 57.6%.

The schools included Jolobe Junior Secondary School (4.1%); Nkulisa Primary School (31.9%); Mbodleni Senior Secondary (33.1%); and St George’s Senior Secondary (34.2%).

In the report about the results, Walker said the samples he tested were not in the original containers, therefore he could not tell whether they were tampered with at the schools. 

‘Utterly shameful and unethical’

In a message addressed to education department’s superintendent general Themba Kojana, seen by News24, Education MEC Fundile Gade accused the supplier of defrauding the department.

The message reads as follows:

“SG good morning. Having noted the damage caused by this service provider who defrauded the department on PPEs in Mt Frere I propose as follows. 1. That the payment of any kind mustn’t be made to this company. 2. The legal team must file papers for him to answer before the courts of law about this criminality. 3. The communication team must urgently be briefed and issue a strong worded statement with a warning even to others in future. That statement must be out today to quell the situation and manage the anger of the people over this matter. 

Regards Gade FD.”

Gade confirmed that the department was planning to launch legal action against the supplier.

“What this service provider has done is utterly shameful and unethical. Their carelessness and shoddy workmanship has effectively put the lives of children and teachers in danger.


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‘Shock and disgust’

“We are currently consulting with our legal team and we will make sure that the law takes its course. Furthermore, we will write to the provincial treasury to ask that they are immediately blacklisted from doing business with government ever again,” said Gade.

Education department spokesperson Loyiso Pulumani said the Rhodes University investigation into the sanitisers was commissioned by the department following complaints from various schools about the quality of the products.

Pulumani said the department had learnt of the incident with “shock and disgust”, adding that payment to the service provider had been blocked with immediate effect.

The department released names of other schools affected by the incident. They are: Lilitha Senior Primary School, Nqhontosi Senior Primary School, Cwalinkungu Primary School, Mbodleni Senior Secondary School and St Georges Senior Secondary School.

Rhodes University’s spokesperson Velisile Bukula told News24 that: “Kindly be advised that Prof Walker is not prepared to talk to the media about this project. Kindly contact the provincial department of health for assistance in this regard.”

The institution’s pharmacy department also produces sanitiser for the department of health, Manana revealed.

Last month, Makaula came under the spotlight when 204 people – including pupils and hostel employees – tested positive. The National Association of School Governing Bodies viewed the incident as the final straw, and called for schools to be closed.

Between 8 and 26 June, more than 550 pupils, teachers and support tested positive for Covid-19 in the Eastern Cape, while 154 provincial schools were temporarily closed.

At the time, the department revealed that 270 of the infected were pupils, 271 teachers, while 16 were non-teaching staff.

STORY COMING SOON: We help an SMME with funding to deliver 20 ULV disinfecting machines (pictured below) to a large South African organisation, all are certified machines. The ULV fogger machines are weapons against COVID-19 and popular amongst pest control companies, and also are bought by large organisations to serve as back up, therefore  seeks distributors/re-sellers to distribute these “weapons” to the public and private organisations across South Africa. 

To join this PPE re-seller program click here.

Author: Bongani