Embattled FS health MEC gets support

2016-05-25 06:00

THE Free State MEC for Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Sam Mashinini, has come out in defense of embattled MEC for Health, Dr Benny Malokoane, regarding problems facing the Department of Health.

In his defense, Mashinini said the challenges crippling the Free State Department of Health were not entirely those of health alone, but those of the entire Free State Executive Cabinet.

Mashinini was responding to whether the Free State cabinet deems Malakoane fit and capable to run the trouble-ridden Department of Health.

Mashinini was addressing the media on behalf of the Free State cabinet at the O.R. Tambo Building in Bloemfontein last Thursday (19/05), following a meeting with the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC).

“It could be me next time in that position,” Mashinini responded.

The TAC had had a meeting with the Free State’s executive cabinet following renewed calls for the axing of Malakoane, who is being blamed for problems crippling the Department of Health.

Anele Yawa, TAC national chairperson, said the organisation was adamant that Malakoane had to resign despite meeting with Premier Ace Magashule and his cabinet over the matter.

Challenges addressed in the meeting include shortages of medicine, dilapidated health infrastructure and the 3 800 community care givers whose contracts were terminated by the department last year.

Yawa said the TAC would only be happy once better health services were rendered to the people of the Free State.

Yawa criticised Malakoane for taking more than four years to meet with the organisation to discuss pressing challenges negatively affecting the health system.

“Malakoane must go, he is killing our people,” alleges Yawa.

Mashinini said the TAC could not dictate terms to the cabinet on how it should run the Department of Health, adding that “only the provincial government has the discretion to decide that”.

Mashinini said the executive cabinet had identified a few challenges during their engagement with the TAC and insistsed that poor communication between government and the TAC remained a major issue.

The provincial secretary of the Aids Council, Tefo Tabi, applauded Magashule for initiating the meeting to find resolutions that could yield results.

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