There have been nine generator failures at the Chris Hani Baragwanath and Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg hospitals in the last three years.
This is revealed by Gauteng Health NEC Qedani Mahlangu in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.
Bara hospital was hit by 6 generator failures, with the reasons given as follows:
- 20 May 2014 – the change-over switch was faulty;
- 24 October 2014 – electrical power supply interruptions in the JD Allen main theatres caused by burnt power cables;
- 4 August 2015 – National Health Laboratory Services generator failed to start due to high voltage because water sensor was faulty;
- 17 November 2015 – JD Allen generator failed due to oil in the turbo; the gasket was damaged;
- December 2015 – G&H generator was undersized and was not able to maintain the required voltage; and
- 25 January 2016 – the controller was faulty.
The three failures at Charlotte Maxeke were as follows:
- 13 March 2013 – aged batteries could no longer supply the correct voltage levels;
- 2 April 2014 – generators cut off due to oversupply of voltage;
- 11 January 2016 – the generators started for a short period but failed on high temperatures due to lack of cooling because two critical generators were faulty on the pneumatic charge valves.
Cassidy Solutions CC
Mahlangu also says in her reply that a company called Cassidy Solutions cc was responsible for servicing and maintaining the generators at the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital, and has been paid R995 000 for this to date.
Following the generator failure at this hospital in January this year, Mahlangu fired the person responsible, but surely the company itself should have taken the blame?
In order to ensure that all generators at the two hospitals are always functional, Mahlangu says “the Department will do weekly no-load tests and monthly full load tests”.
I hope that she gets it right this time as she previously declared in March 2013: “I can now confidently stand before you and say that in the event of a power outage, generators at Chris Hani Baragwanath and the generators at Charlotte Maxeke will power the hospitals.”
We need guaranteed high-quality maintenance on all generators so that they always kick in when needed.
Jack Bloom MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health
082 333 4222