149 Gauteng health NGOs not paid in six months

2017-06-27 12:18
Gwen Ramokgopa. (Christopher Moagi, Netwerk24)

Gwen Ramokgopa. (Christopher Moagi, Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg - More than 100 health NGOs have not been paid by the Department of Health, MEC for health Gwen Ramokgopa said during a question and answer session at the Gauteng Legislature on Tuesday. 

Ramokgopa said of the 299 Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) registered with the health department, 149 were not paid and were awaiting finalisation of contracts. 

"I am really convinced by month end most of these NGOs would have been paid because they are fully compliant," she said.

Ramokgopa said the 149 NGOs had not been paid for six months. 

She said if some of the NGOs registered were not compliant by month end, they would be given an extension of six months.

Department 'heartless'

Ramokgopa told MPLs that three of the NGOs in the Gauteng health department were not registered while three were rehabilitation NGOs awaiting contracts and 98 were funded on a quarterly basis.

This did not go well with DA Gauteng MPL Jack Bloom who accused Ramokgopa's department of being heartless. 

"What are they supposed to do in the interim... There are NGOs with staff that hasn’t been paid. What do you expect them to do?" Bloom asked Ramokgopa.

She responded by saying that since the beginning of the year NGOs were given notice to be compliant. "All NGOs were visited and given notice," she said. 

NGOs were technically not owed any money until they were compliant, she explained.  

She added that a team of doctors and social workers visit each NGO to assess the state of patients. She said should the teams find patients who are compromised at these NGOs, they would be immediately transferred.  

Worst for supplier payments 

The health department was announced as the worst performing of all the departments in the province when it comes to supplier payments, finance MEC Barbara Creecy said in March. 

It was publicly criticised after a Health Ombudsman report revealed that over 100 patients died when they were moved from Life Esidimeni centres to 27 NGOs.

Creecy said the delays in supplier payments have affected service delivery to poor communities.

"Small businesses are closed down due to non-payment," she said during her budget speech.

Read more on:    gwen ramokgopa  |  gauteng  |  service delivery  |  health

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