James Masango MPL
Provincial Chief Whip of the Official Opposition
Mpumalanga health MEC Dr Clifford Mkasi must investigate allegations of dumped medical waste in KaBokweni near Nelspruit, and immediately take corrective action so as not to expose the community to unnecessary health risks.
According to DA information members of the media found the dumped waste and contacted Dr Mkasi’s office and enquired if they had any knowledge of the incident. Instead of taking immediate action to investigate the issue, the journalist in question was informed that the waste could not come from anywhere in Mpumalanga, as the province has an effective waste disposal programme.
Although Dr Mkasi went onto defence mode, the remarks were highly irresponsible. How could the MEC simply claim that the waste did not originate from Mpumalanga if no one was dispatched to the site to investigate, and establish that fact? Furthermore, it is highly unlikely that someone would drive hundreds of kilometres from outside the province to fabricate such a story.
While Dr Mkasi chooses to dispute the origins of the medical waste, the fact remains that the health and livelihood community members are at risk. As MEC responsible for their health, Dr Mkasi should take immediate action and have the waste removed.