Officials can't change a light bulb - Times LIVE
Fri Apr 28 14:01:44 SAST 2017

Officials can't change a light bulb

Penwell Dlamini | 2014-10-29 00:01:18.0
Nandi Mayathula-Khoza. File photo.
Image by: Frennie Shivambu / Gallo Images

How many Gauteng government officials does it take to change a light bulb?

The province's portfolio committee on infrastructure development got its answer yesterday when its members visited Mohlakeng clinic, on the West Rand, and were told that a light bulb in the medicine store room had not been replaced since it was reported blown nine months ago.

Then it transpired that the provincial department of infrastructure development had failed to present a maintenance report on Mohlakeng clinic to the portfolio committee, much to the dismay of its chairman, Lindiwe Lasindwa, who refused to accept the excuses of department officials.

"The report on the clinic is important to the committee. We were there this morning and a bulb has not been working since January. We take this seriously," Lasindwa said.

During their visit the committee also found that the clinic had not had hot water for a year because the geyser was not working. The air conditioning, heaters and cupboard doors needed repairing. Paint on some of the walls was peeling.

The chastened MEC for infrastructure development, Nandi Mayathula-Khoza, apologised to the portfolio committee and promised to send it the maintenance report without further delay.

The department of infrastructure development was established in 2009 to implement Gauteng infrastructure projects.

It is responsible for planning, design, construction and maintenance of provincial government infrastructure.

In May, the department introduced an e-maintenance system that will allow anyone who sees a problem at a provincial health facility to report it over the internet.

After a call is logged the department verifies its authenticity and then, in theory, sends someone to fix the defect.

The new system is in use at Leratong Hospital - but the results have been unsatisfactory.

Hospital CEO Joseph Dube told the committee that, of the 2337 reports logged, 42% of them had not been resolved.

"Our main concerns are that some of the calls are logged but it takes time before the [problems] are resolved," Dube said.

The new system specifies the fixing of minor defects in 24 hours and of major defects in seven days. Major refurbishments are to be completed within a year.

  • The Gauteng department of infrastructure development's year-end financial report shows that it has failed to meet many of its targets.

Of the 14 new schools planned for the past financial year, only seven were completed.

Of the 10 schools which were to be fenced, only four were.

Mayathula-Khoza said the main reasons for the failures were shoddy work by contractors and poor project management.


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