Major surgery for Gauteng health
Gauteng's poorly performing health department has been hived off from social development and made a standalone department.
Delivering her state of the province address yesterday, Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane said the split formed part of efforts to improve health services.
The provincial health system has been dogged by poor service provision and staff and supply shortages.
Mokonyane said social development would be incorporated into one of the existing departments.
She also said that all municipalities in the West Rand District would be merged into a "single-tier" municipality.
Though she did not give timelines, Mokonyane said Mogale City, Merafong City, Randfontein and Westonaria would eventually be merged into one.
"This will help maximise the use of resources and create better opportunities for growth and development of the region.
''This will benefit the people of the West Rand and contribute to the creation of a cohesive Gauteng city-region," she said
Mokonyane added that Merafong and Westonaria were not financially viable.
In 2010, then Gauteng cooperative governance MEC Kgaogelo Lekgoro told The Times the province's idea was to phase out all smaller municipalities and district councils in favour of metropolitan councils.
The first district council to go was Metsweding, whose municipalities, Nokeng Tsa Taemane and Kungwini, were merged with Tshwane after last year's local government elections.
Gauteng will now remain with one district municipality - Sedibeng, which consists of Midvaal, Emfuleni and Lesedi local municipalities.
Of that merger, Mokonyane said: "Together with [the] national government, we will give institutional and financial support to the City of Tshwane to manage the merger with Metsweding."