DA Takes Up Challenge, Proposes Another

Andrew Louw, MPL

DA Northern Cape: Provincial Leader

The Democratic Alliance has taken up the HIV testing challenge as presented to the opposition by MEC for Health, Mxolisa Sokatsha during today’s house sitting. At the same time, we wish to present Sokatsha and the ANC members with another challenge, namely to avail themselves to undergo lifestyle audits by SARS.

During today’s budget vote debate on Health at the provincial legislature, Sokatsha boasted that during last year’s AIDS Day Awareness Campaign, all ANC executive members and members of the provincial legislature underwent HIV testing together with their partners. He made reference to the left-hand side of the House, where the opposition sits, making reference to the fact that we didn’t test for HIV.

The DA would like to commend Sokatsha and his colleagues for setting an example regarding HIV testing. DA MPL’s, together with our partners, will take him up on this challenge come 1 December 2012. At the same time, however, we have another challenge for him. On numerous occasions, the DA has asked for lifestyle audits to be conducted on politicians, at the same time availing ourselves for such a cause. Our calls have, however been rubbished up until now.

We challenge Sokatsha, who heads up the provincial health department, to take the lead in availing himself for a lifestyle audit. He heads up a very sick department, in the form of the health department, which in the 2010/2011 financial year managed to wrack-up irregular expenditure to the value of over R1 billion.

There can be no doubt that a healthy provincial government and a healthy society requires the urgent combating if diseases like HIV and AIDS. But it also requires combating the sickness of financial misconduct, which has the potential to prove just as devastating to our communities, through the failure of service delivery, as any physical illness.

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