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Gauteng health department owes R3.1bn to 42,519 suppliers: DA

13 March 2022 - 16:29
Tembisa Hospital owes R333m to 1,576 suppliers. File photo.
Tembisa Hospital owes R333m to 1,576 suppliers. File photo.
Image: Thulani Mbele

The Gauteng health department has failed to pay 42,519 suppliers R3.1bn within the legally required 30 days, according to the DA.

DA provincial shadow health MEC Jack Bloom revealed this on Sunday. The figures, he said, emerged at last week's meeting of the provincial legislature's finance committee.

The major “transgressors” included:

  • Tembisa Hospital, which owed the most — R333m to 1,576 suppliers;.
  • Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital, which owed R234m to 2,908 suppliers; and
  • the Far East Rand Hospital, which owed R230m to 1,795 suppliers.

According to Bloom, recent food supply problems at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital could be traced to about R226m the hospital owed to 2,477 suppliers.

“It is unacceptable that so many suppliers have not been paid and many of them have stopped services, including Buhle Waste, which is why smelly medical waste is building up at Gauteng hospitals,” charged Bloom.

“Late payments are particularly harsh on small companies who sometimes go under because they run out of cash, and staff and patients suffer when services are cut.”

He said the department often ran out of money towards the end of the financial year, so the R3.1bn in arrears could cut into the 2022/23 health budget of R59.4bn which starts on April 1 and has not been increased from the previous year.

“A financial bailout will be necessary to clear the arrears, but this should be with strict conditions to fix the poor financial management that plagues this department which is mired in corruption scandals.”

Other hospitals with large arrear payments included:

  • George Mukhari, which owes R113m to 2,320 suppliers;
  • Steve Biko, which owes R95m to 754 suppliers;
  • Thelle Mogoerane, which owes R86m to 1,696 suppliers;
  • Helen Joseph Hospital, which owes R70m to 2,093 suppliers;
  • Kalafong, which owes R69.6m to 591 suppliers;
  • Sebokeng, which owes R67m to 860 suppliers; and
  • Tambo Memorial, which owes R55m to 1,573 suppliers.

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