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3 provinces sit on vast Health funds

By Anna Majavu | Sep 07, 2011 | COMMENTS [ 100 ]

WHILE patients die because of, among other things, a lack of funding of public healthcare institutions, Parliament yesterday heard that at least three provinces sat on money earmarked to improve healthcare.

Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Eastern Cape failed to spend. All three sat on funds meant to be spent on vital infrastructure and equipment. Some of the funds were budgeted for spending on forensic pathology, hospital improvements and preventing the spread of HIV and Aids.

Parliament's select committee on appropriation began its public hearings with the provincial departments of health yesterday.

Treasury official Ogalaletseng Gaarekwe said Eastern Cape had underspent its HIV and Aids grant by R105 million in the first quarter of this financial year, while Limpopo underspent by R49,5 million.

Eastern Cape underspent its budget for forensic pathology by R1,4 million and Limpopo by R1,2 million. Eastern Cape underspent the hospital revitalisation grant by R35,9 million and Limpopo by R27,3 million.

Hospital renovations had been delayed because of poor communication between the health and public works departments and the "poor or slow performance of contractors . who are awarded tenders for big projects they cannot execute", Gaarekwe said.

When contractors did not perform they had a tendency to take departments to court and holding up hospital renovation projects for years. Mpumalanga's health and social develpment MEC, Dikeledi Mahlangu, said some projects in the province had been delayed since 2003.

Eastern Cape health HOD Siva Pillay said his province had problems, including of bookkeeping done "on paper" in all but four centres.

"We have had five MECs and four HODs. We have uncovered a huge deal of fraud. When you put corrective measures in place, it puts the brakes on spending" Pillay said.

He said the province would take another two to three years to "turn around". After he started the job in January 2010 he had to replace 13 mortuary managers who had only a "Standard 7 to Standard 10 qualification", Pillay said.

He told MPs that in July he had to fire the former chief financial officer, Phumla Vazi, because the department was doing business with 121 companies owned by Vazi's husband, daughter, two sons and sister.

Pillay also fired 325 people working in the ambulance department, including the head and deputy head, for "corruption".

Prices were now compared before they bought anything, he said.

"The cost of a bed, if you move from province to province, can jump from R890 000 to R3 million. That shows how we are played," he said, adding that construction companies were involved in "collusive tendering across the board".

In Mpumalanga, Mahlangu said, the department could not attract an engineer to work on its hospital revitalisation programme because the salary offered was too low.

Plans to revamp Themba Hospital in Kabokweni had hit "major challenges" after the contractor did not perform, but then took the department to court.

They spent only R81 million of R134million of the HIV-Aids grant.

Daisy Mafubelu, Limpopo health department's HOD, said the hospital revitalisation programme was going wrong because 56percent of the posts on the project were vacant and the department could not monitor if the work was done.

Committee chair Charl de Beer of the ANC, slammed the national Health Department for not attending.

COMMENTS [ 100 ]

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tank
@LoveSA
I am not blaming, I am just stating the facts! And not some Ideological nonsense you are trying to sell me.
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Me ideological? What do you think you sell? The gravy train you're on? You're heading for a bridge that Malema built old tank.

Sep 07, 2011 10:38 | 0 replies

@Justfinkin

How can there be so many vacant posts with so many unemployed people in the country! Surely people are standing in lines for a job? Or are they "saving" the budget for themselves?
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People responsible for picking and choosing appropriate candidates to be employed, are the Senior Managers, Chief Directors and Directors and Supervisors and these positions are filled with apartheid die hearts, who do not believe that black people are smart. They put near impossible requirements which even can not be fulfilled by their counterparts. And that is were “South African lacks professional people” comes from.

Sep 07, 2011 11:37 | 0 replies

MAKABAZA

Well Madiba is NOT running the country anymore and the anc IS a kak party!! The article is on the 3 provinces that didnt spen ANY of their health budget. That is incompetence at its best. Who hires someone with a STD 7 and makes him a manager??? If they can run those provinces then why arent they??

Sep 07, 2011 11:54 | 0 replies

@tank

I have to disagree. The positions is not filled because these Senior Managers, Chief Directors and Directors and Supervisors you talk about cannot find enough incompetent family members to fill the posts.

Sep 07, 2011 12:9 | 0 replies

tank
People responsible for picking and choosing appropriate candidates to be employed, are the Senior Managers, Chief Directors and Directors and Supervisors and these positions are filled with apartheid die hearts, who do not believe that black people are smart. They put near impossible requirements which even can not be fulfilled by their counterparts. And that is were “South African lacks professional people” comes from.
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Maar jy praat mos nou pure K@K! Give us the facts. Who is responsible for the shortage of 84,000 nurses + doctors and surgeons? Just answer this too.

Sep 07, 2011 12:12 | 0 replies

Tank should read Train, Gravy Train.

Sep 07, 2011 12:15 | 0 replies

@Manala
I have to disagree. The positions is not filled because these Senior Managers, Chief Directors and Directors and Supervisors you talk about cannot find enough incompetent family members to fill the posts.
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Point to me where I am stating the above!
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@LoveSA

I think you need help! You are the so called "Special Care". I gave you the answer but no you still do not get it! let me give you a clue; "I am not refering to a specific profession or Department"

Sep 07, 2011 12:20 | 0 replies

they literally SIT on the money with their big fat assses, while they are busy enriching themselves and their families ONLY!

sies on you ANC moegoes!

Sep 07, 2011 12:23 | 0 replies

A very good example is the appointment of Judge Mogoeng Mogoeng. This time around the apartheid die hearts are angry because it's out of their control! There is nothing they can do except character assassination!

Sep 07, 2011 12:29 | 0 replies

tank please spel it out. It is no time for riddles or short and sweet. I know you and I have more than enough in common and you annoy me by not answering me in detail. How old are you?

Sep 07, 2011 12:29 | 0 replies

I am Six Months older than Obama!

Sep 07, 2011 12:30 | 0 replies