Parliament asks defence dept for update on Tshwane military hospital, calls it 'an unmitigated disaster'

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Parliament has asked the defence department for an update on Tshwane military hospital.
Parliament has asked the defence department for an update on Tshwane military hospital.
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  • The Joint Standing Committee on Defence has called on the Department of Defence and Military Veterans to account for the costs with regard to the 1 Military Hospital.
  • According to the committee, two departments have shown complete disregard in relation to the hospital.
  • The costs incurred for outsourced medical services is projected to be about R1.086 billion.

The Joint Standing Committee on Defence has called on the Department of Defence and Military Veterans to account for the refurbishment of the 1 Military Hospital in Tshwane.

On Friday, the committee said two departments had shown complete disregard and unwillingness to account for the 1 Military Hospital's continuing repair and maintenance programme. 

"We are concerned that the defence department failed to brief the committee on the forensic report that they have been sitting on for about a year, citing that it is yet to be taken through the internal structures due to its sensitive nature," the chairperson of the committee, Cyril Xaba, said.

The committee said it had scheduled a meeting with both the defence department and the public works and infrastructure department, to provide an update and accountability on the repair programme.

Following a meeting, which took place on 2 September 2021, the committee requested briefings from both departments on the hospital's forensic audit report and associated consequence management.

READ | SA soldiers not adequately armed to protect military bases, says defence force commission

The committee added that its concerns were based on the defence department's unwillingness to share the findings of a forensic investigation into the matter. 

"Also, the department has been unwilling to take action against senior staff members identified to have acted unlawfully in relation to the project."

Xaba said that, despite this, the committee welcomed the public works department's readiness to be held accountable. 

It also welcomed its initiation of consequence management, which is a necessary measure to safeguard taxpayers' resources. 

"The committee remains of the view that the project is an unmitigated disaster, with the state continuing to spend millions in private healthcare due to the delays in completing the repair project."

Xaba said they were concerns about the escalation of costs, construction and the cost of medical outsourcing.

"The costs incurred for outsourced medical services is projected - from 2010/11 to 2019/20 - to be about R1.086 billion, which is unacceptable."

The defence department did not respond to News24's questions by the time of publication. Comment will be added once it becomes available. 


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