Life Esidimeni in crosshairs at ANC Gauteng lekgotla

Gauteng Premier David Makhura. (Netwerk24)
Gauteng Premier David Makhura. (Netwerk24)

Johannesburg – Premier David Makhura’s administration is expected to come under the spotlight as the ANC in Gauteng meet for its provincial lekgotla this weekend following the Life Esidimeni saga.

Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu stepped down this week, hours before the health ombudsman revealed that at least 94 patients had died after being moved from the health care facility to 27 non-government organisations across the province.

The EFF, the DA and the ANCYL have also pressed charges against the former health MEC and are calling for Makhura to step down.

The league has been chastised by the ANC at national level for its utterances, which it described in a statement as being “atrocious, despicable and unbefitting not only members of the ANC but humanity at large.”

“There has been a lot of finger pointing about what has happened, bottom line is that the administration has let us down,” said ANC Gauteng spokesperson Nkenke Kekana.

He said the party was angry over the tragedy.

Kekana told News24 that he believed the report released by Health Ombudsman Malegapuru Makgobawas only the beginning.

“Beyond the politics of resignations, recalls and calling for this and that lies the challenge of improving the health system,” he said.

Kekana said a lot of good work had been done, but that the health system in Gauteng remained under a lot of stress.

The ANC is also expected to give its youth league leaders in the province to explain the posture the league has taken on the Life Esidimeni tragedy.

Balance of forces in Gauteng

The party is expected to discuss the political situation in South Africa and how it fits into the greater picture.

Gauteng ANC’s lekgotla will also focus some of its attention on the party’s upcoming 54th national elective conference taking place in December, including the challenges facing the ANC as it makes its way towards the conference.

Kekana said the party would also discuss corporative governance.

“How do we position the ANC? On the one hand we are a party in power in the province and on the other we have municipalities that are run by the opposition,” said Kekana.

Kekana said the biggest challenge for all parties in leadership roles in the province was how to better service delivery for residents in Gauteng.

“We don’t want to end up being caught in political differences and then the ground suffers,” he said.

Kekana raised concern over the level of service delivery around some parts of the province.

“We know that something is brewing in Joburg. Go to Alex today. It's dirty they don’t collect rubbish. In Soweto things are not the same anymore,”

There is also a looming billing crisis in Johannesburg, with people receiving two bills with different amounts, he continued.

“How do we build on the service delivery record of the ANC. Given the challenges of the different political parties how do we continue to improve the lives of our people,” asked Kekana.

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