It is becoming increasingly clear that Mpumalanga is still within the firm grip of former premier David Mabuza as current premier Refilwe Mtsweni has continuously refused to take action and save the Health Department from total collapse.
During a briefing to the Select Committee on Finance by the National Treasury and the Mpumalanga provincial treasury, Finance MEC, Eric Kholwane expressed concern about systems within the Health Department and stated that discussions with Health MEC, Gillion Mashego around the possibility of the provincial treasury taking over the department had started.
Under the leadership of MEC Mashego, the provincial Health Department has deteriorated to such an extent that there is just no money to run the province’s hospitals and clinics effectively.
The Department carried over accruals worth over R842.3 million from the 2017/18 financial year to the current financial year, the biggest contributor being medicine at R364.6 million. This is an indication that if this year’s budget is being used to pay off medicine purchased in the last financial year, the Department cannot afford to purchase today’s medicine in this financial year.
MEC Mashego’s Department also increased its unauthorised expenditure to over R200 million and irregular expenditure still awaiting condonation came to R6.7 billion.
The DA has continuously lobbied for the removal of Gillion Mashego as MEC of Health because he has repeatedly demonstrated that he does not care about the 3.9 million residents of Mpumalanga who rely on the state for healthcare.
During his tenure as Premier, David Mabuza allowed his close ally, MEC Mashego to retain his position and to continue plundering the province’s healthcare resources at the expense of the people of Mpumalanga.
It seems that current Premier, Refilwe Mtsweni is committed to preserving David Mabuza’s corrupt legacy as she has told protesting labour unions that the Health Department would not be placed under administration even though she is fully aware of the struggles faced by healthcare workers and patients in the province.
It cannot be business as usual when patients queue for days in order to receive treatment and healthcare professionals are forced to use their own income to purchase emergency equipment for clinics and ambulances.
The people of Mpumalanga deserve change that ensures quality healthcare so that we can build a strong and healthy nation. Only a DA-led government can deliver this kind of change.
Jane Sithole, MPL
DA Mpumalanga Spokesperson on Health
082 854 9711
Provincial Communications Manager
079 873 7590