More than R3m a month spent on security at Charlotte Maxeke hospital where items were stolen

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The Charlotte Maxeke Hospital was gutted by a fire in April.
The Charlotte Maxeke Hospital was gutted by a fire in April.
Gallo Images/Sharon Seretlo
  • Last week, the Gauteng Department of Health opened a theft case after several items were stolen from Charlotte Maxeke Hospital.
  • The items were valued at R200 000.
  • In a written response to questions from the DA, Gauteng Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi revealed that more than R3 million a month was spent on security at the hospital.

More than R3 million a month is spent on security at the fire-stricken Charlotte Maxeke hospital, where items valued at R200 000 were recently stolen.

This was revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi in a written reply to questions from the DA's Jack Bloom in the Gauteng legislature.

Mokgethi said that guarding services cost R2 894 424 34 a month, while R450 000 was spent on electronic surveillance security services per month.

Some of the items stolen included 10 desktop computers, a fridge, six plasma television sets and three laptops. 

READ | TVs, computers, equipment stolen from fire-ravaged Charlotte Maxeke hospital

The hospital was shut down after a fire in April - that started in the dispensary department - gutted parts of the public health facility. Patients were transferred to surrounding hospitals.

"Immediately after the fire, no one was allowed inside the building. As a result, security was deployed in the residential area to safeguard the staff parking. Security was also deployed to monitor the parameter fence of the hospital, including gates 1 and 2. Additional security was posted in the street to protect staff cars," said Mokgethi. 

Bloom questioned how items were stolen from the facility, which had spent over R60 million on security from January 2020 to date.  

Mokgethi said the burglar bars at the back of the wards had to be unlocked due to the fire assessment.

Mokgethi said:

During that process, security of assets was compromised due to about 150 fire doors which were required to stay open for inspection purposes, thereby resulting in too many uncontrolled exits being created. Now the burglar doors have been removed because they are contravening the fire regulations. Security is patrolling the fire escape routes to monitor unwelcome people.

Mokgethi said the theft did not hinder the hospital's ability to function. 

Meanwhile, on Friday, Mokgethi and Premier David Makhura visited vaccination sites at mining companies in the West Rand.

READ | Makhura: Gauteng Covid-19 numbers down but 'fire is still there'

When asked when the hospital would fully reopen, she said: "When the fire started when we did our first assessment with the premier, yes we said seven days [the time it would take for the hospital to reopen] because at that time there was no assessment done to the structure, so we thought that we would be cleaning up.

"Unfortunately, we have a dependency on the (department of) infrastructure, but we have not closed shop. We are still admitting, but we are admitting through Helen Joseph [hospital]."

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