E Cape crippled by R19bn health backlog

2011-11-17 07:21

East London - The Eastern Cape health department is facing a R19bn infrastructure and maintenance backlog that is slowly crippling service delivery in the province, the Daily Dispatch reported on Thursday.

The figure reportedly ballooned over the past five years and the decline continued with the widespread neglect of already ageing and failing public healthcare centres.

This was revealed during a heated question-and-answer session between the provincial legislature’s health portfolio committee and the administration arm of the department in Bhisho.

Deputy director-general for clinical services Nomalanga Makwedini told the Dispatch that many clinics and hospitals had deteriorated so badly it would be better to “bulldoze” them and start afresh.

“Some of the medical centres need to be bulldozed outright. I mean, you visit some of these clinics and you can actually look through holes from one side to the other.”

Development and maintenance programme

In the 2010/2011 financial year, almost 70% of construction work under way at public healthcare facilities in the Eastern Cape had to be carried over to the new fiscal year.

Adding to the worsening neglect, the facilities development and maintenance programme (FDMP) failed to spend R535m from its financial plan during the past fiscal year.

From April 2010 to March 2011, the department’s eight programmes failed to spend a total of R569m of its allocated R13bn budget.

According to a committee’s analysis of the annual report, spending trends show the FDMP failed to use 38% of its R1.4bn budget.

The FDMP was expected to face the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) next week to explain the R19bn backlog.

  • Christelle - 2011-11-17 07:27

    "Johannesburg - The Eastern Cape health department has fired 42 of its officials for a range of offences. A number of civil servants - including hospital managers, two doctors, a pharmacist and middle managers - were found guilty by internal disciplinary processes, spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said. "They were accused of allegations ranging from theft, fraud, corruption, sexual harassment and rape." An internal committee rejected their appeals for re-instatement." And they wonder why they have a backlog - start at the start...........Do things they way they should be done, and this would not happen

      John - 2011-11-17 09:57

      What I dont understand is that we hear about situations such as the Eastern Cape and many other instances where people are being found guilty and fired, but in the proccess millions disapear and no one seems to go to jail. Why not?

  • Dorothea - 2011-11-17 07:31

    so very pleased to be leaving this hole. i pay more taxes here than in my new country, and yet the place is a sham. cant wait to see my taxes actually work for me.... it is going to be so refreshing! if these previously disadvantaged weren't so morally corrupt and blatantly incompetent these situations could be avoided. but of course, they are like juvenile fools in a toy shop taking, taking and taking even more.... such a one way street..... i am outta here!

      Paul - 2011-11-17 07:49

      Don't come running back.

      Trevor - 2011-11-17 07:56

      LOL..I'm gone January as well and must admit, not sorry to see the Eastern Cape behind me as the ANC is at it's BEST in PE...rotten...busy dereg as a taxpayer as the ANC won't see a cent of my hard earned cash from 2012!

      Christelle - 2011-11-17 08:05

      I dont think there is much space in the Western Cape any more:-)

      Paul - 2011-11-17 08:14

      Trevor I take it was better when the 'Old Grey' boys were running PE. To many big fish in a small pond.

      Xavier7034 - 2011-11-17 08:18

      @Dorothea - as much as many of us empathise with your sentiments, most of us will actually be staying here - for a range of reasons, some family, some financial. The big thing is that we HAVE to make it work, even against the odds. There are MANY good people in this country, and one of these days they WILL rise to the top. If one leaves this beautiful country, you will ALWAYS be left with the feeling of "IF ONLY" - well, MY heart and soul is here, together with my good wife and two of our four sons (two are in London) and although it is sometimes scary here, it is NEVER boring....and finally it takes balls. Africa, since time began, has always, and will always be an enigma and a challenge. I LOVE THIS PLACE!

      Henri - 2011-11-17 08:20

      o paul, you poor soul.

      Dorothea - 2011-11-17 08:32

      xavier, of course there are many great people in this country. i am leaving my extended family behind. and many of my childhood friends. it is very sad, but our responsibilities lie first and foremost with our children. i refuse to sit back and allow them to be raped or become victims of crime. statistically, this is likely to happen, if we decide to remain. my belief that staying take less guts than leaving. making and implementing the decision to move has been amongst the most difficult we have ever made. it has require a huge amount of bravery and determination to break the comfort zone. we have a FABULOUS life here, but the foundation is rotten. for this, we turn our backs on this country. if we STAY in this country, we will forever be plagued with 'if only...' - this is where you and i differ. do continue to be optimistic. this is what stands between you and the reality that this country is doomed.

      Xavier7034 - 2011-11-17 08:59

      Doomed? Damaged, yes......doom is a very strong sentiment, and could be woven rather nicely into the Harry Potter series. We don't hear about people leaving like Helen Zille, Lindiwe Mazibuko, John Robbie, Redi Hlabi, Victor Matfield, Imram Tahir, Hassim Amla, Patricia de Lille, John Mitchell (As a NZ guy, he turned the Lions around, and has adopted SA as HIS Country now). When one can, as my forefathers have done, fought through the border wars that was SA in the 1850's and the odds that the Voortrekkers had to face against the land, the rinderpest. Africa with ALL its pimples will still be here when you and I are dead and gone. It has oft been said, but I will repeat it here, when things are at their toughest, just around the corner is an amazing new experience, and Africa provides that EVERY DAY. I feel sorry for those who cannot face up to the challenge, and then LOOK for the people around them to MAKE it happen. If you just can.

      Dorothea - 2011-11-17 11:51

      xavier, lovely sentiment. but you argument lacks substance. this country requires more than positive thinking. and merely STAYING here is not a remedy. you would have to play a more active role that just existing and working here. you mention all of those who stay - i could mention hundreds that have passed through my life who are now spread far and wide. more generally, could remind you that 1 million have left this country since 1994. it all boils down to opinion, and my opinion is that this country will not improve. my opinion is that our money, skill and existence will be more worthwhile and valued in another country.

  • PB - 2011-11-17 07:40

    What gets to me, is that there are no clauses in government tender contracts to 'fire' contractors who do not finish the job in the allocated timeframe they tendered for - and to the specifications that they tendered. It is old news that tenders are awarded to chommies who have absolutely NO ability to deliver the goods. The rent-a-crowd toyi-toying about every single thing, seems not to care about these life and death cases. Don't they care about their own health and safety?

      K0BUSL - 2011-11-17 09:05

      @PB, but there is old chum. Just look at the ST36: General Conditions of Contract issued by the National Treasury in which are listed the preventative and remedial actions that can be applied by any tier of Government in the securing and management of a tender and remember that Special Conditions of Contract pertaining to individual contracts are even more restrictive. It is scary that in the past 8 years, according to National Treasury, only a 133 People or Companies have had Restrictions imposed for defaulting (could be fronting/non-delivery etc etc) to Municipal, District, Provincial and National Government barring them from doing business with any component of Public Service, while only two people are listed in the Defaulters list as having been found guilty of Corruption relating to Contracts (Being restricted from business with Public Services for 5 years).

  • David - 2011-11-17 07:47

    its simple, fire all the oxygen thieves and return the budget to balance between staff costs and infrastructure spend. O.. and maby a moratorium on wage increases until this target is met

  • Henri - 2011-11-17 07:48

    WOW awesome news, so you want a bail out, again !!!!!!!!

  • Ian - 2011-11-17 07:55

    let me guess the money is gone, all spent on booze and puties

  • Paul - 2011-11-17 08:08

    Need to get rid of this 'bantustan' mentality that runs this province. Budget not spent over the last 10 years exceeds R9.5bn rand and we are still talking with no action. Unfortunately this lack of 'get up and go' mentality extends into the business sector as well.

  • Atholl - 2011-11-17 08:10

    'FDMP was expected to face (Scopa) next week to explain .... ' That's where the system falls down .. the Reactive Reaction. The system needs a Proactive Reaction.. ... why wait for the holes to appear and then decide how to plug them ... why wait for the funds to be looted and then run after the money. ... why wait for the doctor to fail the patient and then try revive the corpse. Scopa must appoint Mama Managers to manage the unmanaged, ill-managed managers.

  • Hedzer - 2011-11-17 08:23

    Biggest problem in this country is that the people in charge of many departments don't no how to run the show and then is corruption always their.

  • Pushka - 2011-11-17 08:30

    I recently returned to the Eastern Cape after a long absence and I am shocked at the deterioration everywhere, not just the hospitals. The locals also seem to have their heads in the sand and think that "things are not too bad here" I wonder what it will take to make them finally wake up and realise that something needs to be done there, and fast.

      Seanred - 2011-11-17 09:40

      I live in Kingwilliamstown. They decided to clean the street the other day, we are so lucky. The next day it was back to "normal". Filthy Kwt and we have to pay rates, for what?

  • Vicker - 2011-11-17 08:38

    Superman, Superman, hey SUPERMAN...Hope you reading this after your pathetic rant against the DA-led W-Cape yesterday... But as usual, dogs like you will run cowering with your tails between your legs when you are faced with something like this...

  • Piet - 2011-11-17 08:44

    And we have to be all happy about NHI! Please they cannot organise a pissup in a brewery.....

  • CyberDog - 2011-11-17 08:54

    Easy to fix... Start at the top and get rid of all the incompetent greedy fools. Melema was a good start, do not stop there ... By the book marxism, now the ANC will be bringing in communist leaders with strict rules to eradicate the problems, and everyone will be eating it out of their hands like candy.. And here I was thinking that South Africans were intelligent, I'm ashamed to be South African. Get rid of the ANC, before it is to late, this will end in blood shed.

  • ifundi - 2011-11-17 09:42

    They voted for this, so whats the problem? Maybe next time they will think when they voting.

      anga.tinzi - 2011-11-17 11:58

      I knw most of you here dont knw about being oppressed, but it is still difficult for us blacks to even imagine SA in the hands of white people bcoz the last tym that happen'd, we got the short end of the stick .Thats just sumthin that cums with being oppressed, so cut us sum slack. N you guys dont make it easy,(I mean) i read this forum everyday n I realize that racism is still very much alive... but i do agree with sum of you, the power is in the vote. the only problem is that the ANC has no real "black" opposition....ofwhich is what my people are looking for (atleast for now). ...And to those that are leavin SA, go n dont cum back, we will do fine without u. For us, this is our only home so running away is not an option, we have to stay n fix what is broken

      Teboho - 2011-11-17 12:06

      that is the problem ifundi they don`t Think.they will vote for anything that is black,so the baas/madam won`t rule again.

  • Rob - 2011-11-17 11:38

    Eastern Cape may be bad, but maintenance is a problem throughout the country (OK maybe not so much in WC), just like most of Africa. Show me an well maintained example of a building that reflect African cultural heritage that is more than a few years old...are there any? It is sexy to buy/build new; you get publicity and kick-backs. Maintenance requires planning, constant engagement, and often hard work....and the oportunities for fame and fortune are much less. Did anyone get to see Mugabe's airport...I was there just after completion....a palace, even if it was empty, but already after only a few weeks the toilets were disgusting. I wonder what it is like today?

  • Warwick - 2011-11-17 15:20

    And to think this ignorant lot say that private health care is a digrace yet every single government employee uses private healthcare. What ever this lot touches they destroy. Absolute no idea.

  • Peter - 2011-11-24 17:21

    @Dorothea, Trevor, Paul & anga.tinzi. My wife and I have lived in the UK and Aus but live in the ECape. The government is a festering sore, but the people are the most friendly we've ever met and the lifestyle is superb. We live in a Democracy now, so the minority of educated (westernised) people will always complain that standards are sliding and infrastructure is falling apart, but unless we speak isiXhosa and invest in comunicating and debating with others we'll always be on the loosing end, and yes, 'they' will never vote for a white, coloured, indian or asian to lead them, because they're as racist as you and I. There is no 'nation', just a loose grouping of factions. One thing that we've learned is that if you do go, do as Paul says, and intend never to come back, otherwise you will. We live in a fabulous part of the world. Nowhere we've been compares, so engrave your concerns on your hands and refer to those things when you're desperate to see the sun, or when you can't think straight for the humidity and heat, or when there isn't a cricket or rugby game anywhere to enjoy, or where there isn't a challenge or a cause for you to believe in. We have problems. They may have reached tipping point recently, but if there's a will, there's a way...

  • pages:
  • 1