KZN health dept denies R2.4m spent on smoking room

2013-05-01 09:22

The health department in KwaZulu-Natal has denied allegations that it had spent up to R2.4 million on upgrading a smoking room.

Spokesperson Sam Mkhwanazi said, yesterday, that reports claiming this were not true.

He said the money had been used for upgrading a registry.

“The project involved removing internal partitions, vinyl flooring tiles, and upgrading of mechanical and electrical installations, including air-conditioning.

“The work also included configuring of the registry, upgrading of ablution facilities, new counters, new mobile shelving and access control,” said Mkhwanazi.

Earlier, provincial Democratic Alliance spokesperson Mark Steele said the party submitted a question to Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo on why the department spent up to R2.4m upgrading a smoking room at its Natalia head office building in Pietermaritzburg.

Steele said the information was contained in an infrastructure projects report submitted to health portfolio committee members on April 18.

He said it was a concern that the department had a smoking room and that it reportedly spent that much upgrading it.

“We also want to know how the department can possibly justify this expenditure, while patients attend overcrowded and understaffed clinics right here in Pietermaritzburg,” said Steele.

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