Mpuma health curatorship a good step - DA

Johannesburg - Placing the Mpumalanga health department under curatorship was a step in the right direction, the DA in the province said on Friday.

"This should have happened long time ago anyway," DA MPL Jane Sithole said in a speech prepared for delivery at the legislature.

She said the party had made several calls in 2005 asking the premier's office to intervene because "red lights where already flushing [sic]".

"But, as usual, the plea was ignored, plea after plea, until today when you find yourself in this disastrous situation."

The Mpumalanga finance department announced on 4 July that its MEC, Eric Kholwane, had been appointed curator.

"This means the financial delegations of the department of health are now with the curator, and only the human resources delegations will remain with the health MEC," Kholwane said at the time.

An investigation was under way to determine who was responsible for the maladministration, he said.

Sithole accused the ANC-led government of rejecting anything that had to do with the DA. "Should you have listened to the DA then, how many lives could you have saved to this date and how much pain and suffering could you have prevented?"

The department was placed under curatorship in June because its infrastructure was not maintained and laundry services were poorly managed. There were problems with food provision and waste management.

"This resulted in the department accumulating pre-audited accruals of approximately R470m, which it failed to manage," the department said at the time.