Drastic shortage of condoms in Gauteng

Issued by Jack Bloom MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health
26 Apr 2023 in News

Five years ago, 189 million male condoms and 7.3 million female condoms were distributed in Gauteng, but this has fallen drastically, with only 14.7 million male condoms and 1.2 million female condoms distributed from January to March this year. This amounts to an annual total of 58.8 million male condoms and 5 million female condoms.

This information is revealed in a written reply by Gauteng Health MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko to my questions in the Legislature.

According to the MEC:

“Contract RT75_condom suppliers didn’t have stock to deliver to Province from the

inception of the new contract in February 2022 as suppliers were awaiting SABS sample

approval prior ordering bulk stock from the manufacturers.”

The shortages have been experienced in all five health districts in Gauteng,

Nkomo-Ralehoko says the condom shortage leads to an increase in Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STIs). This includes Male Urethritis Syndrome which increased from 5486 in February 2022 to 6035 in February this year.

Since the high point of condom distribution in 2017/18, there has been a downward trend in the number of condoms distributed. In 2021/22 only 129 million male condoms and 5.2 million female condoms were distributed- a 45% decline.

It is disgraceful that a common item like condoms are in short supply in Gauteng. They have a vital role to play in family planning as well as prevention of HIV/Aids and other STIs.

We need to get the basics right in healthcare in Gauteng. This includes proper contract management so that reliable and cost- effective suppliers are always chosen, rather than companies that don’t deliver.