By Dr Isak Fritz MPL, DA Northern Cape Provincial Spokesperson of Health:
The DA welcomes the progress made by MEC of Health, Mac Jack, in his anti-corruption clampdown within the Northern Cape Health Department.
This follows the suspension of a number of officials within the department who have been accused of not following proper procurement practices and in turn causing the department to incur irregular expenditure.
To date, the accumulative irregular expenditure of the Northern Cape Health Department stands at over R4 billion. This is an exceptionally large amount of money that has not been properly accounted for and has largely ended up in the wrong hands instead of facilitating service delivery within the health care sector.
The DA made a follow-up with the MEC during the Health Department’s annual report presentation earlier this week regarding a written request for him to investigate the awarding of the tender for the Kagung Clinic as well as allegations of nepotism pertaining to the running Kimberley Hospital’s catering services and kiosk. During the meeting, Jack gave his assurance that he was in the process of dealing with all complaints received regarding corruption.
After over 10 years of officials being let off the hook, it is refreshing to see that action is finally being taken in this regard.
The DA, however still has reservations regarding certain members of the investigative team, who themselves are implicated in corruption court cases. However, we will give the MEC time to prove whether he meant what he said when he stated on record that no one who is guilty of wrongdoing will be exempted from disciplinary action.
In light of the pending cabinet reshuffle, the DA sincerely hopes that Jack will not be transferred out of the Health Department just yet and rather that he will be provided with an opportunity to finalise all investigations instituted by his investigative task team.
The Northern Cape Health Department has become a web of criminal activities, rife with corruption, tender fraud and theft. It’s critical for the survival of the health care sector in the province that the health department is properly cleaned up.