By Bobby Stevenson (MPL), Shadow MEC for Finance:
The Eastern Cape government paid out R504-million over the last three financial years for court litigation and settlements.
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The Eastern Cape government paid out a massive R504-million over the last three financial years for court litigation and settlements. R296-million was paid out for litigation and a further R208-million for settlements.
This is such a massive waste of public funds and a squandering of lost opportunities for the province.
How many additional doctors, nurses, teachers or incubators, ambulances and school desks could have been paid for by these millions that are going to expensive court cases instead? How many hospitals, clinics and schools can be built and renovated?
This wastage makes me so angry! What we want is a fair society.
The highest amount, of R171 498-million, was incurred by the department of health. The second and third highest payments were made by the departments of education (R55, 290-million) and of transport (R14, 854-million).
Those negligently responsible for needless wasting of state funds due to litigation must be disciplined and costs recuperated from them. Pay back the money!
According to a reply to a legislature question I asked the premier, litigation against the health department was mainly for obstetrics, related to brain damage in babies during birth due to poor monitoring of foetal distress and because of the non-availability of ambulances to get mothers to appropriate help.
This ghastly situation can be turned around by putting in place a caring government that puts the people first and that provides quality services.
What the citizens of this province deserve is a fair society in which they can rely on the healthcare system to work for them in their time of need, and education that will give their children the opportunities for a better future and a transport system that supports their daily lives.
What we need is a caring government that will priorities fairness, freedom and real opportunities for its citizens.