Massive R800m underspend on hospitals

2012-09-06 22:33
Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi (File, Sapa)

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi (File, Sapa)

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Cape Town - Five provinces under-spent on public hospital infrastructure to the tune of about R800m last year, according to Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi.

In a written reply to a parliamentary question, tabled on Thursday, he said at the end of March this year, spending on government's R4bn hospital revitalisation grant was "at 79% of the total allocation".

The provinces affected included:

- Eastern Cape, which spent R169m of R361m allocated (47%);

- Free State, which spent R244m of R378m (65%);

- KwaZulu-Natal, which spent R273m of R501m (54%);

- Limpopo, which spent R234m of R323m (72%); and,

- Northern Cape, which spent R262m of R420m.

Motsoaledi said the under-spending stemmed from projects being delayed as a result of poor quality work by contractors, poor management of build programmes and land allocation problems.

Steps had been taken to correct the situation, including the appointment of technical advisers and engineers.

"The national department... together with National Treasury are also engaging in the process of reviewing provincial capacity," he said.

The question was posed by the Democratic Alliance. In a statement later on Thursday, DA health spokesperson Patricia Kopane warned the underspending was jeopardising health care in these regions.

"Behind the numbers lies a crumbling infrastructure with serious and, in some cases, life-threatening consequences for patients," she said.

Read more on:    da  |  aaron motsoaledi  |  patricia kopane  |  health  |  government spending

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