Patients suffer as Gauteng government has little to show for maintenance spend

Many Gauteng residents who are solely dependent on the public healthcare services will continue to endure poor or no services due to the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development’s (DID) poor contractor performance and poor management of hospital maintenance projects.

DID has overspent the hospital maintenance budget by 120%, while only 67% of maintenance projects were completed. In addition, the value of invoices that were not paid because of cash flow problems amounted to R280 million and this amount, called an accrual, must be paid out of this year’s budget.

This information was revealed during the Gauteng’s Portfolio Committee of Infrastructure Development (GDID) meeting last week which highlighted that the maintenance programmes of hospitals are on the brink of collapse.

At the Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital, the budget was overspent by 248% with an 82% project completion rate while at Charlotte Maxeke, the budget was overspent by 138% with a project completion rate of 72%.

To add insult to injury, the maintenance budget for this year has been cut by 17%.

Furthermore, none of the Gauteng hospitals is compliant with the Health and Safety regulations. The estimated R5 billion to remedy this situation is not available to the Gauteng fiscus.

This, together with the poor maintenance will result in the progressive downward spiral of the physical condition of hospitals, an issue which impacts negatively on the quality of health services in the province.

Premier David Makhura and the MEC for Infrastructure Development, Tasneem Motara must be held accountable for creating the infrastructural wasteland in our hospitals.

The DA will be closely monitoring the maintenance of our hospitals, and their adherence to the policies and processes put in place to ensure that basic services are delivered to our residents.