Mashaba on ambulance services takeover: 'If it ain’t broken, don't fix it'

Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba. (Jabu Kumalo, file)
Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba. (Jabu Kumalo, file)

The City of Johannesburg (COJ) is seeking a meeting with Gauteng health MEC, Bandile Masuku over the Department of Health's intention to take over the City's ambulance services on September 1, 2019.

"For the past 13 years, the City of Johannesburg has run the ambulance services on behalf of the Gauteng Provincial Government. This drastic decision appears to have been taken by the political leadership in the Province without any proper consultation or planning with the City of Johannesburg.

"Despite the City’s numerous requests, over months, to receive the Province’s business, implementation and transitional plans to take over this vital function, the City has to date received no response," Mayor Herman Mashaba said in a statement on Sunday. 

The City is of the view that should this plan be implemented, it will place the lives of residents at risk.

'Poor management and planning'

"The Province’s running of its Health Department has been nothing short of a disaster. Many hospitals in Gauteng are essentially dysfunctional due to poor management and planning. 

"The pain experienced by hundreds of families due to the senseless loss of their loved ones following the Life Esidimeni tragedy is also still fresh in our minds and yet now, the Provincial Executive wants to take over the running of ambulances from the City of Johannesburg in less than two months without even providing the City with its business plan," Mashaba said.

Mashaba has called this "political point scoring by the ANC" in the province an "irrational decision-making process".

"Just last month, I announced that the City had taken delivery of 42 new ambulances as part of our continued efforts to capacitate our EMS department. As the saying goes, "If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it," he added. 

The MMC of Public Safety, Michael Sun wrote to the Department last week to secure a meeting. The City claims that multiple attempts to engage with the Provincial government on this issue have not been fruitful.

Gauteng MEC's Spokesperson Kwara Kekana told News24 that the matter is currently being discussed at EXCO level.

"This matter is an exco decision and there are discussions at that level taking place on the issue. We find it regrettable that Mayor Mashaba has elected this form of engagement," Kekana concluded.

GET THE NEWS at your fingertips and download the News24 app for Android here now. Get it for your iPhone here.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
Voting Booth
When a Covid-19 vaccine for under 16's becomes available, will you be taking your children to get it?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Yes, immediately!
38% - 3451 votes
I'll wait to see how others respond
26% - 2366 votes
No, I don't think they need it
36% - 3331 votes
Brent Crude
All Share
Top 40
Financial 15
Industrial 25
Resource 10
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo