What Curatorship means for the Mpumalanga Department of Health

Jane Sithole MPL

Provincial Spokesperson on Health

Note: The following speech was delivered in the Mpumalanga Legislature today by Jane Sithole MPL the DA’s Provincial Spokesperson on Health.

Honourable Speaker

Placing the Mpumalanga department of health under curatorship is a step in the right direction and the Democratic Alliance already welcomed this decision.

This should have happened long time ago anyway.

The DA has long maintained that the current crisis in which the Provincial Department of Health finds itself is directly linked to administrative and financial

mismanagement as well as the appointment of incompetent, unqualified and politically connected individuals to senior management positions. The lack of political

accountability and transparency made the situation worse.

It is a tragedy that while Politicians go on another fact finding mission, and the Curator still apparently working on a turnaround strategy, people’s lives are

put at risk on a daily basis.

Hon. Speaker, In 2005, the DA here in Mpumalanga, made several calls to the Premier, requesting him to intervene in this Department because red lights

where already flushing.  But, as usual or as expected, the plea was ignored, plea after plea until today when you find yourself in this disastrous situation.

ANC led government will do anything to reject anything that has to do with the DA, even if it’s to the benefit of the very same people who voted for you.

MEC after MEC, HOD after HOD, the health department was clearly on downward spiral for over a decade. You don’t need brain surgery to have noticed that.

Should you have put aside your ”go busha rena” (we are ruling) attitude and listened to the DA then,

  • How many lives could you saved to this date?
  • How much pain and suffering could you have prevented!

In your many fact finding missions, you have seen first-hand what people go through every day.  We can’t just say yes we acknowledging that there’s a problem,

no, it doesn’t end there.

Honourable Speaker, unfortunately there’s no good story to tell about our health department  in Mpumalanga, The DA can only pray that the Curator, MEC Kholwane

is ready to roll up his sleeves and give the people of Mpumalanga back their health. Our hospitals have become places of death instead of places of healing.

Hon. Speaker, the fact of the matter is this government brought the state of health in Mpumalanga to where it is today, we can go ahead and blame apartheid

when there’s no food for patients in our hospitals, we can blame apartheid for aging boilers, leaking roofs, dysfunctional washing machines, no linen, severe staff shortages etc.

  • You had 20 years to fix the aging boilers, what did you do?
  • You had 20 years to fix the washing machines, what did you do?

Surely you can’t blame apartheid for not having food in hospitals.  It is because of this government that people don’t have food to eat in hospitals.

Hon. Speaker, I sit here and I listen, speech after speech and all what I hear every day are speeches that are aimed at stirring up people’s emotions

with no political direction. Party political loyalty makes the ANC blind to the injustices that people face every day.

Because we owe it to party bosses, we do not speak truth to power, we do not speak when millions meant to better people’s lives go missing.

The DA will continue its mandate as given by the more than 138 000 people of this province who voted for the DA on the 7th May and we will do so without fear or

favour, we will give credit where it’s due, we will commend, we will criticise, we will recommend, we will debate, we will propose solutions, we will hold government

to account and we will do so without any fear or favour.