Gauteng government faces R11,6 billion legal claims

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Member of the Oversight Committee on the Premier’s Office

The Gauteng Provincial Government faces a huge potential liability of R11 639 833 000 in legal claims against departments.

This is revealed in the 2013/14 annual reports of departments tabled recently in the Gauteng Legislature.

The Health Department faces the highest legal liability of R8.944 billion, mostly due to alleged medical negligence.

Legal claims against Roads and Transport amount to R1.416 billion and the Education Development faces lawsuits that total R723 million.

Other departments with high claims include the following:

  • Infrastructure Development – R306 million,
  • Human Settlements – R113 million,
  • Finance – R51 million,
  • Agriculture and Rural Development – R27 million,
  • Community Safety – R25 million,
  • Office of the Premier – R7.2 million

Most of the claims other than in Health are due to disputed contracts. It shows generally poor administration and decision-making.

Whilst not all claims will be successful, large pay-outs can be expected that will divert money that is needed for service delivery.

I am seeking further details of the lawsuits through a Promotion of Access to Information Act application to the Premier’s Office.

Premier David Makhura needs to crack down on departments whose poor performance leads to law suits.

He also needs to drastically improve state legal services following the recent scathing criticism by Acting High Court Judge Ronée Robinson who has slapped Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu with punitive legal costs in a medical negligence matter.