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DA: Corruption a sore that continues to fester in Health Department

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DA: Corruption a sore that continues to fester in Health Department

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14th March 2019

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New information has come to light showing how the sore of corruption continues to fester in the Northern Cape Department of Health. This social ill steals the money meant for health care to sick and vulnerable members of our society, which proves again that the ANC is incapable of delivering any improvement in service delivery.  

The Democratic Alliance will therefore be conducting oversight inspections to various satellite offices of the Northern Cape Department of Health, including in Hartswater.

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This comes after service providers have contacted us with complaints of serious corruption within the administration, specifically the abuse of supply chain management processes. Their complaints, which were raised with senior management members, have fallen on deaf ears and they are becoming desperate for their bills to be settled so their businesses can stay open.

One service provider delivered goods, including foodstuffs, to the department’s offices in Hartswater during 2017. His bill, which amounts to slightly more than R100 000, is yet to be paid as of today. When he contacted the offices to ask about payment, he was told that the invoice will only be processed after he pays R10 000 into the personal bank account of a departmental official. Out of sheer desperation, he borrowed an amount of R4 000. But now his attempts to contact the official, her managers and other managers within the department, are all unsuccessful. They are not interested in settling the bill for goods which were delivered, because they are not getting their cut.

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It is not the first time that the specific service provider rendered goods and services to the department nor was it the first time that he was asked for kickbacks.

With the cost of living skyrocketing daily under a corrupt and incompetent ANC, people from all walks of life are driven to acts of desperation just to put food on the table. We do not condone bribery or extortion.

But we can understand why a father would pay a kickback so that he can get the money needed for his daughter’s university fees. We can understand why business owners are slipping money into brown envelopes – not because they want to or because they think it is okay, but because they are desperate to keep their doors open. They are placing their consciences at risk so their families, employees and dependents can continue to have food on the table. These things are not done by choice, but by coercion in a corrupt, economically constrained environment deliberately created by the ANC.

If this is the type of business practice tolerated within the ANC, and we know that it is, our SMMEs will never truly thrive. Our provincial economy will continue to shrink and our people will be kept trapped in a cycle of poverty and degradation, proudly sponsored by the ANC.

That officials are allowed to abuse supply chain management processes as their own piggy banks with no consequences, while the department says there is no money for service delivery, is absolutely unacceptable.

We know that the department is suffering from a self-created shortage of funds, with a departmental overdraft of more than R338 million in March 2018 and a budgetary shortfall of half a billion rand reported at the end of the 2017/18 financial year. But it is the way in which the department manages its funding, not the amount of funding itself, which creates the problems. Outstanding debts to service providers amounted to just over R479 million in March 2018, which automatically created a budget deficit for the 2018/19 financial year.

And when officials are allowed to loot the public coffers at will, this budget deficit will continue to grow at the cost of business and patients alike.

This is why a DA-led government in the Northern Cape will prioritise the utter eradication of corruption, with all public representatives and government officials guilty of corruption sent to prison for fifteen years. Corruption steals the money meant for service delivery.

 

Issued by The DA

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