Massive R800m underspend on hospitals

2012-09-06 22:33

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.

  • sally.lewitt - 2012-09-06 22:51

    This is an absolute disgrace to society! I would like to know HOW many lives could of been saved and gravely ill people receive the necessary treatment? This also leaves one massive hole for corruption to dig its heals in deeper.. Are we drowning in stupidity and incompetence and turning a 'blind eye' once again?? (no offence meant to real blind folk here)

      demi.davidson.18 - 2012-09-07 07:41

      "They" have NO IDEA of what UNDERSPEND means. "They" have no idea how to budget or manage. "They" have only one mindset: "what can I have for myself". And lastly, they don't have a conscience.

      lindela.e.mtshali - 2012-09-07 08:04

      This is common even in the private sector. I witnessed a CFO chastising people for not spending almost R500 million allocated to them to spend on Capex. Some projects are not easy to get going and deliver on time. With government its even worse, there is no profit motive.

      jonathancfarrell - 2012-09-07 09:40

      Well at very least one can say better it underspent then stolen! But still unacceptable!

      mihaip007 - 2012-09-07 10:53

      does "underspent" means that the money is still available? hope so...

  • oageng.lekete.7 - 2012-09-06 23:00

    Aaron, I once asked you if you know who your CEO's are? and whether they have the right qualifications for the job. Their under performance will erase all your efforts and those veins on your temporal region will do nothing but become more engorged. Sack all the rotten potatoes and employ South Africans based on their qualifications not by their birth suite.

  • tommo.too - 2012-09-06 23:47

    I just cannot understand why the money is not used when it is allocated. What on earth is the problem?? The Eastern Cape stopped all operative facilities at hospitals a while back. Wat gaan nou hier aan mense?????

      rontheogre - 2012-09-07 01:10

      Perhaps they were caught flat footed as they could not think of enough ways quickly enough to make the money disappear?

      trevor.pietersen.3 - 2012-09-07 07:52

      THEY need to tender first

  • Sidney Olifant - 2012-09-07 01:00

    It seem to me that the SA goverment have to much on their plate and the want to add mines and farms we,the poor voted you into power and we are the ones that after 18 years of democracy are worst of than we've ever been - 2012-09-07 03:27

      u cant be "poor" if u hav internet!!

      jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-09-07 11:54

      Sidney olifant and while the people keep voting for them, things will never get any better.

  • georg.potgieter - 2012-09-07 01:42

    Steps had been taken to correct the situation, including the appointment of technical advisers and engineers ----------- Competent ones this time, I hope? Or just different cadres?

      eduard.marais.5 - 2012-09-07 07:17

      as long as they are black

      demi.davidson.18 - 2012-09-07 07:44

      And is this supposed to bring comfort to the families who have lost loved ones? Too little, a lot too late. And from track record, how many steps are they and which step are they on - not even first rung I bet.

  • mlondozi - 2012-09-07 03:35

    An R800 million underspend? Wow! Perhaps the ANC were so busy feathering their nests and lining their pockets from all the other ways they rip us off that they did not even notice the potential here... or rather... a significant portion of what they did spend ended up in their pockets anyway???

  • Vince.York - 2012-09-07 05:13

    and how much transformed into zumaville?

  • Muffin_man_can - 2012-09-07 05:26

    Once again you don't see the Western cape listed here, because it runs like a well oiled machine.. Vote DA!

      Barefoot - 2012-09-07 07:04

      Your reasoning is rather lacking- Gauteng and North West? if i were an ANC supporter i would be saying vote ANC.

      Enrico Capazorio - 2012-09-07 07:31

      @Barefoot , I would agree with you on the lack of reasoning, BUT, have you ever seen what the state of government hospitals in Gauteng and NW are. Having experienced the service in all 3 provinces I can tell you vote DA. Gauteng and NW might have spent their budget but on what , who knows.

      jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-09-07 11:57

      Muffin man. Tygerberg hospital do not meet the mark. Where is the D.A.?.

  • brionyl.french - 2012-09-07 06:14


  • enlightened.bowman - 2012-09-07 06:43

    These guys would be capable of walking into a brothel, come out a hour later and claim the girls don't want to have sex. It is as if they have been propelled here from another time in the past and find themsleves in an alien sorrounding. That's why they srugglw with even what would appear to be relatively simple tasks. That kinda makes stealing, lying and arrogance basic instincts, doesn't it?

  • obadia.segwape - 2012-09-07 07:11

    dat one not spend is allocated for fraud n corruption a you blind

  • wayne.faulds - 2012-09-07 07:27

    All the usual suspects again.

  • demi.davidson.18 - 2012-09-07 07:33

    "They" have NO IDEA of what UNDERSPEND means. "They" have no idea how to budget or manage. "They" have only one mindset: "what can I have for myself". And lastly, they don't have a conscience.

  • sarel.brits - 2012-09-07 07:36

    I wonder how much of the money that was spent actually ended up in the hospitals because the state Hospitals still looks crap and the service is still 3rd world. Well at least that R 800m have not been stolen YET!

  • arthur.salvado - 2012-09-07 07:38

    I don't think there's been any "underspending". The balance of the money is GONE. Luxury homes, SUV's, holidays, watches, sunglasses, designer this and that. Please, someone investigate the balance of unspent (?) monies. Do you wanna bet ?

  • trevor.pietersen.3 - 2012-09-07 07:51

    So...who has the MONEY???

  • rick.kabose - 2012-09-07 08:06

    anc provinces,either too stupid to spend the allocation or hoping to steel it later

  • shelley.vorster.9 - 2012-09-07 08:36

    Disgusting, especially when i think of the fact that it takes me 190 days plus just to get a payment out of a government health department for goods delivered.

  • michael.barns.1 - 2012-09-07 08:44

    no no, they underspend but overpaid.... the rest is all in their pockets! Not once did it mention that the underspent money was given back? hmmm...

  • anakin.skyvader - 2012-09-07 09:00

    It's better NOT to spend (allocated money in the budget) on essential things like medicine doctors hospital-maintenance scanner-equipment etc.etc. THEN when you ask why things are not "weking" they tell you "Eish" and prescribe panado.

  • darryl.maze1 - 2012-09-07 10:16

    Well waht do you expect, they all run by ANC corrupt officials. The money that they didnt spend is gonna land up being spent on themselves to live the rich life. Never once do you hear that all the money has been well spent on infastructure or upgrades. They spend as little as possible and the rest they spend on themselves

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-09-07 11:53

    While it is a disgrace, we all know no steps will be taken against these foolish and stupid people not fit for their jobs.

  • DarrenCooper68 - 2012-09-07 12:55

    Again....In a democracy, the people get the government they deserve. Maybe they need to suffer until they get to a breaking point. Then hopefully we see a breakaway of (not too right wing) people from the ANC that will become attractive to the masses and an era of true democracy will begin...

  • tony.naidoo - 2012-09-07 13:38

    Wow! KFC's gonna be overflowing at the Christmas parties!

  • gary.desousa.7 - 2012-11-05 12:53

    What does the Public works department consist of and howcome they are not overseeing all the tenders instead of employing more people. If the PWD is not staffed with the right people why not?? Get rid of them, bring in the right people into that dept . Underspend?? overspend on incompetent people and too many. Jobs for pals

  • Montagnes.Bleues - 2012-11-05 13:00

    What nonsense! A few zuma style nkandla mfeka contracts at 4000% escalated rates should easily soak up the funds just as any NYDA & ANC and Chancelor House deals do

  • terrylee.heuer - 2012-11-05 13:31

    What I don't get is when the hospitals cry \no money\ when machinery breaks down especially needed for cancer patients and patients are turned away cause hospitals don't have the money to fix them!!! Its a disgrace honestly and they want to build more hospitals!!! Please fix up the health system people are dying because of incompetence!! I wish we could freeze paying tax until such time the nonsense is sorted out and then Zuma wants to tell us the ANC are not corrupt!!!!

  • Highway Angel - 2013-10-10 19:58

    The amounts were not spent on hospitals as stated. If they were then majority of the hospitals would at least look better than they do. I think you mean x amount was spent on corruption def not on hospitals. Here is a bit of sound advice, yes worry about the Budget, but if you want to improve the hospitals you have to start by getting rid of the unqualified staff. Once that is done voila you will notice one hell of an improvement. Actually to stop all the corruption you will have to start at the top, get rid of our Government, problem solved.

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