As the number of coronavirus cases in South Africa continues to grow, National Treasury has moved to centralise the sourcing of personal protective equipment from suppliers.
This comes as countries around the globe scramble to secure scarce medical equipment to fight the virus, which has already killed over 83 000 people worldwide.
Treasury on Wednesday asked suppliers of PPE items such as surgical gloves, masks, sanitisers, ventilators and more to submit offers to a central project management office for assessment.
Deputy minister of health Joe Phaahla told reporters last week that South Africa was struggling to source much-needed supplies from foreign countries due to trade closures in China, a competitive export market, and the depreciation of the rand.
Bloomberg, meanwhile, reported earlier in the week that a scramble for medical equipment had contributed to what the World Trade Organisation referred to as a “severe shortage” of goods needed to fight the virus.
In a statement National Treasury also warned suppliers to be vigilant and not submit their information to would-be scammers. “Suppliers are advised to always first verify with relevant departments before supplying any goods,” it added.