6 July 2016
The department has failed to pay R700 000 to former fax and copy service provider, Bestor CC, despite the final warrant of execution having lapsed on Monday, 4 July. This has resulted in the repossession of assets critical to the patients in the Northern Cape.
By no later than tomorrow, the Sherriff of the court is expected to have removed over 240 assets from the Health Department. These include four Iveco ambulances (number plates: DOH-0557NC, DOH-0530NC, DOH-0490NC, CCR-408NC), 1 Philips oxygen machine and numerous other items of office furniture and equipment.
If the department still doesn’t pay within 30 days, the assets can go on auction anytime after midday on 16 August. And then the department will have to compete with members of the public to buy back its forfeited property. In the meantime, taxi and business owners are already lining up to snatch the panel van ambulances that they intend converting into taxis, as well as the office furniture and equipment, which they hope to purchase.
It will be a travesty for the Health Department to, through its own inaction, reduce the size of the province’s already skimpy emergency fleet. Failure by the department to pay its dues will also render the department’s head office and the administrative section of Kimberley Hospital ineffective, as the removal of computers, printers and furniture will affect just about everything, from the timeous payment of staff on the Persal system, to the procurement of non-negotiable hospital items and effectively, service delivery.
The DA has been asking for an internal investigation into the handling of the Bestor CC contract since the matter first came to light in 2009. Disappointingly, our requests have fallen on deaf ears. This has in turn cost the impoverished department well over R17 million in ever -growing legal costs due to inflationary increases.
It’s time that the health department is held accountable for its dismal failure to manage its contracts and finances properly.
This shows once again how the ANC’s mismanagement and corruption impacts directly on service delivery to the poor.
Andrew Louw MPL
DA Northern Cape Provincial Leader
082 383 6914
Shelley De Witt
082 847 1387