Greedy sub-contractors and a local ANC councillor in Bronkhorstspruit have been hobbling efforts to complete 150 new beds at the Bronkhorstspruit Hospital that are desperately needed to treat the surge of COVID-19 cases.
According to Tshwane DA councillor Bronwynn Engelbrecht, the extra beds should have been completed by 15 December last year, but sub-contractors have downed tools and are demanding more money to finish the job. It appears that they have squandered money already paid to them by buying expensive cars.
Engelbrecht has also been informed that a local ANC councillor has been encouraging these stoppages. This is putting pressure on BMW which is funding it as a social responsibility project.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura claimed last week that the hospital upgrade was expected by the end of this month, but this seems unlikely.
Further delays can be expected in staffing and equipping these beds as well.
It is questionable why extra beds are being set up so far from the densely populated parts of Tshwane where the need is greatest.
Extra beds at the Mamelodi and Kalafong hospitals would have been more useful in taking strain off the Steve Biko Hospital where COVID-19 patients are now being treated in tents in the parking lot.
And where is the field hospital in Rosslyn that Makhura promised in May last year with the assistance of Nissan and BMW?
This is yet another example of poor planning and botched implementation of hospital projects that are urgently needed to save lives in this terrible epidemic.
Note: Clr Engelbrecht can be contacted at Tel: 082 376-1022