Surgery waiting lists at Bara Hospital jump from 7300 to 11200

The number of patients waiting for surgery at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital has jumped from 7288 last year to 11 194, with some patients told they will have to wait until December 2026 for their operation.

This is revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

There are 3394 cataract patients who will wait for a year to regain their sight.

The worst waiting time is for 1777 people who need hip and knee replacements – they will wait for four-and-a-half years!

And 1304 children will wait 6 months for surgery.

In the case of prostate cancer the delay can be life-threatening as 243 patients will wait for 24-36 months for surgery.

According to Mokgethi, the long waiting lists are due to the following:

  • Inadequate theatre time
  • Non-availability if post-op ICU/HCU bed
  • Infrastructure issues such as non-functioning autoclaves, power outage, dysfunctional boilers
  • Prolonged closure of the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital trauma unit due to the fire
  • Non-functioning of the Bheki Mlangeni Hospital theatres where elective cataract and minor surgery can be done

Another factor is that 1786 operations were cancelled or deferred last year for various reasons.

The department blames the Covid-19 pandemic for the growing waiting lists, but better management would fix issues like broken equipment.

For many patients, it can take many months before they are diagnosed and placed on the waiting list, so their suffering is immense.

Some waiting lists only get shorter because patients die while waiting.

Surgery blitzes in the evenings and on weekends will help to cut the lists, and private hospitals can be paid to do surgery for public patients.

 

 

Why is probe of Charlotte Maxeke Hospital fire still outstanding?

The Democratic Alliance (DA) notes the report in Daily Maverick today on a leaked police forensic report that concludes that the fire at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital (CMJH) in April last year was an act of arson rather than any accidental causes.

It appears that the report was completed last year and recommended further investigation, but there is no indication that this was done.

I asked questions about this in the Gauteng Legislature a month ago, and Acting Health MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko said that the police had done the investigations but the report is still pending.

According to Nkomo-Ralehoko: “The forensic report investigation is coordinated by the Office of the Premier so, as the department, we are not in a position to provide clarity on any delays.”

In my experience the Premier’s Office is the graveyard of investigations as they are never done speedily or made public. Poor excuses are given for the delay in releasing the four investigations into the fire at the Bank of Lisbon Building in September 2018.

I am concerned that the fire at CMJH was done to cover up corruption in the storeroom where it started.

The fire damage has caused immense disruption and patients have suffered, including lives lost from delayed treatment.

The DA will continue to press for full disclosure of all investigations into the fire, and criminal prosecutions for implicated people.

Yet again, the true reflection of crime against Gauteng farmers is not highlighted in the first quarter of 2022/23 crime stats 

The failure by the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, to include detailed crime stats on farm murders and attacks in Gauteng during the first quarter crime stats for the 2022/23 financial year indicates his incompetency and disregard for our farming community.

Even though the crime stats highlight stock theft and business robberies, crimes against farmers should have been included. Failure to include these stats downplays the severity of crimes against farmers.

Crime stats should reflect the rural safety crime stats every quarter. An attack on a farmer is an attack on our economy.

On several occasions, the DA has submitted written questions about the farm murders and attacks to the Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).

Her response reflected that there were 24 farm murders in Gauteng for the fourth quarter of the 2021/22 financial year which were not shown in the crime stats.

It is concerning that the Minister has yet again failed to include these stats even though farmers in areas like Tshwane, Sedibeng and the West Rand are suffering due to increased cases of farm attacks.

Gauteng farmers are under attack; therefore, the adoption of the DA’s Community Safety Bill is the only solution to ensure the safety of all our farmers across the province.

The Bill aims to bring an integrated approach to curbing crime. It will improve police intelligence and find practical solutions that will protect farmers and agricultural holdings.

It is high time that the Gauteng Department of Community Safety replicates the DA’s Midvaal Rural Safety Strategy and the Western Cape Rural Safety Plan to assist farmers with technological developments, farming competency and safety.

The DA proposes that MEC Mazibuko implements an inter-departmental approach between her department, Economic Development and Agriculture, to institutionalise rural safety as a departmental priority. It should also establish a rural safety desk, where the department can utilise scientific data to map crime trends and identify hotspot areas.

We cannot fight crime alone. We need to work hand-in-hand with our farming communities and other accredited experts in the field to not only prioritise rural safety within Gauteng but actively ensure that our farmers are protected.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Makhura dumped before facing DA MONC

Reports in today’s Sunday newspapers suggest that Gauteng Premier David Makhura has been fired and is about to be replaced by MEC Panyaza Lesufi.

This move does not surprise the DA as Makhura has lost the support of his own party in Gauteng. This means there was a good chance he may have been voted out as the Premier as a result of the DA Motion of No Confidence (MONC) submitted to the Gauteng Legislature recently.

The DA already received support from various opposition parties for the MONC and we also expected some of Makhura’s own colleagues to vote against him if a secret ballot was to be allowed.

Makhura has become known as the no action Premier. Full of promises but very empty on delivery. The DA has built a very strong case as to why Makhura is unfit to continue as Premier of Gauteng as he continues failing to arrest corruption in his administration, curb crime and stimulate economic growth in the province.

The DA does not expect a better performance from MEC Lesufi who is mooted to replace Makhura. He will try and start off with a bang, but that will be the only action we can expect from him. Gauteng residents can expect more of the same from Lesufi as he will be a hamstrung premier who will not be allowed by his party to act against corruption. He would ultimately have to answer to a PEC controlled by his rival, MEC Lebogang Maile, rendering Lesufi a lame duck premier.

The only way to deal with constant failing ANC premiers is by voting the ANC out of power in Gauteng in 2024 and replacing it with a capable DA government.

 

DA lodges complaint against EFF over their involvement in land grabs in Olievenhoutbosch

Today, I lodged a complaint with the office of the Public Protector’s office regarding the EFF’s involvement in the land grabs that took place in Olievenhoutbosch last week.

Please see full details of the complaint here_

This act by the EFF is very worrisome as the land that was invaded is private property and another part belongs to Eskom.

While we acknowledge that housing is a problem, it is unacceptable that our residents who are in desperate need of dignified houses are used as political football.

Urgent intervention is needed in this matter. During a recent oversight visit to the area that was invaded, we were told that the EFF had held numerous meetings in the area to discuss the land invasion.

The DA will be closely monitoring the progress of this investigation and we will leave no stone unturned in this matter. Those behind this land grab must face the full might of the law and be brought to justice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A probe into R1.8 million theft allegations at Ekurhuleni School of the deaf must be fast-tracked to restore the school’s functionality

The investigations into the theft allegations of R1.8 million at the Ekurhuleni School of the deaf need to be probed as a matter of urgency to ensure that the school functions without further interruptions.

 

It is alleged that the headmaster and the treasurer stole R1.8 million from the school’s bank account. Should these allegations prove to be true, these two accused should pay back every cent stolen and face the might of the law.

 

Our children must not suffer a lack of adequate learning resources due to corrupt individuals. The recent reports concerning sexual assault acts by boys against girl learners were found to be untrue.

 

This information was discovered during the DA’s oversight inspection at the school today.

 

We are disappointed at some of the school teachers who allegedly instigated the violent acts against the headmaster and some of the teachers last week. We were reliably informed that some of the unhappy teachers influenced the learners to attack the headmaster and instigated violence at the school.

 

The photos of the vandalised headmaster’s office can be seen here_ here_

 

The DA advocates for an adequate and safe learning environment at all times.

 

We demand that the Gauteng Department of Education must keep its promise to issue a report from their internal investigations on what transpired and ensure that those implicated are held to account and that the law takes its course to resolve this matter.

 

The DA will monitor the progress of the investigations by both the SAPS and the department to ensure that the culprits responsible for stealing government funds are held accountable.

 

 

 

 

Minister Cele’s failure to support Gauteng SAPS has led to these alarming crime stats

The Minister of Police, Bheki Cele and the MEC of Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko must account for neglecting Gauteng police stations which have severely affected the gruesomely alarming Gauteng crime stats.

Gauteng is the largest crime contributor with 27.4% of the national crime stats that was released last week.

Gauteng police stations are barely functional because of a lack of adequate resources and infrastructure challenges. The working conditions that our police officers are exposed to on a daily basis are terrible and they affect the delivery of police services.

The above has yet again been reflected in the Gauteng crime stats for the first quarter of the 2022/23 financial year which were released today.

Kidnapping has increased by 136% which means that over 21 children are kidnapped in the province per day.

The report has also revealed that at least 33 people are murdered or are the victims of attempted murder per day over 90 days.

Below are the increased crimes in the province:

Kidnapping 136% increase 1909 reported cases
Murder 24.5% increase 1490 reported cases
Attempted murder 22.3% increase 1434 reported cases
Carjackings 15.1% increase 3113 reported cases
Theft 6.2% increase 17870 reported cases

 

Moreover, women remain the most vulnerable to contact crimes such as rape and murder with a total of 12 884 crimes and a 52% and 100% increase respectively.

Gauteng police stations in the top 40 with the highest increases for serious crimes include Jeppe 18.4%, Tsakane 16.5%, Krugersdorp 15.3%, Pretoria West 13%, Florida 9.7%, Lyttleton 9.5%, Kempton Park 10.1%, Mamelodi East 8.6%.

The DA has on numerous occasions insisted for the SAPS vacancies to be filled and to date, the vacancy rate remains high.

Our police stations cannot successfully curb crime without sufficient support and resources. In Gauteng, 143 police stations need to service more than 15 million people. Every year, the budget goes up, the number of police officer’s declines while the population increases and more so does crime.

Crime rises, and some police stations are closed, instead of new stations being opened.

Unlike Minister Bheki Cele, the DA in Gauteng launched its #GautengPoliceWatch campaign in July, and so far, we have seen the horrible state of our police stations.

Cele cannot be expected to curb crime while he enjoys a fancy parliamentary office. Solutions to curb crime can only be found on the ground by engaging with the communities and police officials.

Minister Cele and MEC Mazibuko have failed the residents of Gauteng, and they must vacate office and give leaders who care for the safety of our people to serve them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poor maintenance of Gauteng healthcare facilities leads to poor health services

Gauteng healthcare facilities are on the brink of a total collapse because of poor planning and project management which has subjected our residents to poor healthcare services and longer waiting times. 

The following healthcare facilities were visited as part of an oversight inspection:

  • Chris Hani Baragwanath
  • Charlotte Maxeke
  •  Kopanong
  • Johan Heyns

The Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development managers at these facilities were nowhere to be seen. 

Currently, the 238 healthcare facilities which include hospitals, clinics, mortuaries, and nursing homes have a combined maintenance budget of R829 million. 

That is not enough, and it is therefore of the utmost importance that the money allocated for maintenance is spent wisely. 

The system is broken and CEOs at hospitals and the facilities managers have very limited responsibilities to change light bulbs and replace faucets at most. 

When there is a broken pipe, broken boilers, or dysfunctional lifts the process to fix these is so cumbersome that it can take weeks and even months to fix items. 

To resolve this issue, proactive maintenance projects must be properly planned with clear timeframes set and agreed to before the commencement of the new financial year. This will avoid the need for a request for a roll-over to be able to continue and finalise a project.

Furthermore, contract management within the department also needs to be strengthened with clear standards being set to allow for serious consequence management where contractors are called back for repeat faults because of poor workmanship. 

In addition, the Democratic Alliance (DA) is proposing that the Gauteng Department of Health and Infrastructure Development embark on a process of putting together a conditional index of all healthcare facilities and the infrastructure work needed. 

The DA will continue to put pressure on the government for some of the maintenance budgets to be decentralised to the hospitals so that they deal with some of the maintenance work that impacts the ability of facilities to deliver uninterrupted services in hospitals and clinics.

 

Gauteng Heath MEC must go!

The Democratic Alliance is calling for Gauteng Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi to be fired for failing to institute a full investigation into allegations of corruption made by whistleblower Babita Deokaran shortly before she was murdered last year.

This follows her evasive reply to my questions earlier this week in the Gauteng Legislature where she claimed that Babita made no “formal” request for a forensic investigation into dodgy payments by Tembisa Hospital.

She should surely have ensured that all Babita’s email and WhatsApp messages were analysed and followed up for clues as to why someone wanted her dead.

It’s not enough to suspend the Department’s CFO and the Tembisa Hospital CEO, there needs to be political accountability as well.

The only reason we are seeing action now is because journalists have exposed the fishy companies that got millions of rand for overpriced goods.

Mokgethi has also declined to respond to the accusation by the SA National Civic Organisation (SANCO) in June this year that she knew all about the Tembisa Hospital payments, and was “the mastermind” in order to fund factional ANC battles.

We know at least one senior ANC figure, Mr Sello Sekhokho, got R2.3 million from the hospital for overpriced goods from three of his companies.

Mokgethi was either asleep at the wheel in not pursuing credible allegations of corruption at the hospital, or she colluded in the cover-up by CFO Lerato Madyo and others.

Meanwhile, multiple disasters continue to hurt patients in Gauteng public hospitals, including staff shortages, equipment breakdowns and slow payment of suppliers.

My view is that the MEC is part of the problem and not part of the solution.

She should go!