Grim picture of health: iLIVE
Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi made startling revelations in his reply to DA MP Patricia Kopane regarding gross underspending by provincial departments .
According to the report "Skeletal health system sitting on cash pile" (September 7), Motsoaledi said the failure to spend was due to delays in the awarding of tenders, rolling-over of budgets from the previous financial year, poor performance by contractors and the consequent termination of contracts and court challenges.
Kwazulu-Natal underspent by R228-million, the Free State by R134-million from an infrastructure allocation of R378-million, Limpopo by R89-million from a R323-million budget, and the Northern Cape failed to spend R158-million of its R420-million.
The grim picture painted by the minister's response is a national disgrace and requires serious reflection.
The reasons proffered by the minister tell a sad story of incompetent leadership.
The fact that this pertinent question has been raised by the DA attests to the fact that legislators from the governing party are not performing their role of holding the executive to account.
In a constitutional democracy, legislators are not lackeys of the executive.
ANC branches should do more by scrutinising the resolutions of parliament to see whether parliament is indeed a site of struggle to deliver a better life to all.
Eastern Cape health spokesman Sizwe Kupelo's response is unhelpful: "We are not responsible for the appointment of contractors.
"Our core business is not infrastructure. If there are delays we are equally frustrated. Our core business is to render health services.
"The infrastructure is not our mandate, so we are now forced to get a third party, the Public Works Department at Coega, who are involved in these projects."
We need a paradigm shift to say "no" to mediocrity.
There must be consequences when resources are squandered at the expense of the people.
With decisive leadership, the national heath insurance scheme has a chance.