The African Christian Democratic Party in the Western Cape wants a review of the halaal certification requirements for all public tenders in state hospitals.
The party has a problem with the halaal requirements to supply kos in state hospitals, saying it excludes other religions and businesses who do not follow Islam.
They’ve urged MEC of Health Nomafrench Mbombo to look into the matter.
ACDP provincial leader Ferlon Christians said the recent tender requirements set out by the Western Cape Health Department for Groote Schuur Hospital discriminates against other religious businesses, reports Cape Argus.
While businesses were invited to bid for the opportunity to supply food including fresh bread and poultry products for a one-year period to Groote Schuur, the requirements for the tender, which includes halaal certificates for the products offered and for the bidder’s premises, make it impossible for all businesses to be on an equal footing when they competed for a public tender.
“We believe that businesses should openly have the right to tender irrespective of whether their products are halaal or not,” he said.
He added that the Groote Schuur tender meeting, which was scheduled to take place last month, was cancelled due to numerous businesses protesting against the requirements, which they believed to be discriminatory.
But provincial health department spokeswoman Marika Champion said since a large number of patients were Muslim, food and catering services had to be halaal.
“Groote Schuur does not have a separate kitchen where halaal meals may be prepared, thus the supplier needs to be halaal certified.
“Other faiths are also accommodated. For instance, kosher meals are procured separately,” Champion said.
The requirement had been laid down in the Departmental Western Cape Food Policy.