Department may lose its state grants

THE Mpumalanga health department is racing against time to save its infrastructure grant from being withheld by the national Treasury.

Its health infrastructure and hospital revitalisation grants are under threat of being withheld for under-spending.

To retain its grant, MEC Cliffort Mkasi has created a task team to work towards "quick-win" projects.

The department spent only 37% of its infrastructure grant and 25% of its hospital revitalisation grant up to November 2011.

According to findings by auditor-general Terence Nombembe serious mismanagement existed in most infrastructure projects from start to finish.

This includes poor communication between the department, management, local authorities and communities and in more than half of the projects audited, the department deviated from the prescribed procurement legislation and regulations.

He named late payment of service providers and ineffective supply chain management among drawbacks to service delivery. In his 2012 state of the province address, Premier David Mabuza said all 33 hospitals and 278 primary healthcare facilities in Mpumalanga did not comply with national Health Department NHI needs.

James Masango, DA spokesman on health in Mpumalanga, said the department needed to be shaken up.

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