With a budget of R64,5 billion for the 2022/23 financial year, the national Department of Health ought to render the highest quality healthcare services to South Africans.
That is, however, not the case under ANC rule. And like previous years, it would be justified to ask where the money goes. By now, the answer is clear: It ends up in the pockets of ANC cadres.
In November 2020, the Department was hit by a corruption storm amounting to approximately R14 billion.
The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) referred 224 public officials for disciplinary action, while 386 cases were referred to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for possible prosecution.
The Digital Vibes saga and Zweli Mkhize’s involvement are shining examples of this.
The problem, however, is that Zweli Mkhize has not been held accountable at all and is still serving in Parliament as a Member of Parliament for the ANC.
The Auditor-General (AG) expressed concern about the significant increase in the number of legal claims lodged against the Department due to the poor service delivery in the public healthcare sector.
The AG also expressed concern for the increase in unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure as a result of “utter contempt” for legislation.
Mkhize’s example demonstrates how all this is possible and how a corrupt government protects its corrupt cadres.
Concerning infrastructure projects, the AG stated in his report that there is a significant delay in the completion of projects in certain provinces. He also added that certain provincial departments failed to manage these projects effectively, which lead to potential fruitless and wasteful expenditure amounting to approximately R18,5 million.
In light of all this, it is clear why the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital in Johannesburg could not open its doors on time after the fire in April last year.
It was shocking to learn that these projects were delayed by contractors’ poor workmanship and performance, poor project management and poor planning by provincial departments. Suppose by now it is to be expected under ANC rule.
The FF Plus puts big question marks over the Department’s claims that during the past financial year, a total of 40 medical facilities were built and repaired, that 21 hospitals will be built or repaired in the foreseeable future, and that another 120 facilities will be upgraded.
During the past year, the Portfolio Committee visited various hospitals across the country and during each and every one of these visits, the FF Plus pointed out and emphasised the poor infrastructure and lack of maintenance at these hospitals. The FF Plus, therefore, follows a “seeing is believing” approach when it comes to the ANC.
The issue of the National Health Insurance (NHI) hangs like an albatross around the neck of general healthcare.
Money that could have been effectively used to appoint doctors and nurses, pay for and procure medicine and essential medical equipment, and improve infrastructure is wasted on the bottomless NHI pit.
At present in state hospitals, there are 10 831 vacant positions for nurses and 1 339 for doctors.
The FF Plus cannot support a budget that will not benefit South Africans. The only ones who will benefit are the ANC and its corrupt cadres.
South Africa and its people deserve better than the ANC.
Read the original article in Afrikaans by Philip van Staden on FF Plus