|by Isak Fritz – DA Northern Cape Spokesperson of Health|
|Date: 15 August 2017|
|Type: Press Statement|
|Comments made today by the Northern Cape HOD for Health, Steven Jonkers, during an oversight visit, has caused confusion on the current status of the Department. We were left wondering whether the Department is under administration or not?|
According to Jonkers, he was initially placed as an “administrator” when the department was placed under administration, after which he was subsequently appointed as HOD last week.
The DA is puzzled by these comments.
Over the past few months, we have received conflicting information regarding the current status of the NC Health Department.
Earlier this year, the department itself told the legislature portfolio committee that the department was “trying” to be placed under administration, as they wanted Treasury to gain a firsthand understanding of their financial woes but that they had not succeeded. Meanwhile, articles in the media claimed that the Premier had placed the department under administration, however, not once in a committee meeting has the department confirmed that it is indeed under administration.
The DA cannot tolerate a situation whereby there is so much vagueness surrounding the administration and management of the Health Department, which remains the worst run department in the entire province.
I have written to Premier Sylvia Lucas, MEC of Health Lebogang Motlhaping, as well as MEC of Finance, Mac Jack in an effort to gain clarity around the department being placed under administration. We need to know whether this is in terms of Section 100 of the Constitution and if not, what type of intervention it entails.
It simply cannot be that the running of this department is shrouded in secrecy when what is most needed is transparency and openness in order to deal with the inherent corruption and mismanagement that is engrained in this department.
Also, if the department is indeed under “administration”, it further makes no sense as to why the ANC would deploy one of its cadres, with a dodgy track record in public financial management, to the helm of Health without even advertising the post. In this regard, it is the DA’s submission that credible managers, such as Ms Thembi Mazibuko, who has many times been called on to stand in as the Acting HOD of this Department, were overlooked for this critical post.
Given the above, we also want to know what wonderful skills Jonkers possesses that justify him having been appointed without proper processes having been followed.
It is as clear as day that the NC Health Department has become nothing more than a political tool and a cash cow for the connected elite. The DA will fight for the truth and for accountability and will not sit idly by while health resources are abused in this way.