South Africa News

Mpumalanga Health Dept reported to PP for construction delays

ActionSA in Mpumalanga has reported the provincial Health Department to the Public Protector for the delays in the completion of the R1.4 billion Middleburg Hospital. The construction of the hospital started in 2017, and it was expected to be completed by 2020. The party claims that the Auditor-General had made a number of findings that include corruption and none payment of the contractor.

ActionSA suspects that the delays are deliberate and smack of corruption. The 350-bed hospital is expected to service communities in the Steve Tshwete Municipality and surrounding areas. Mpumalanga ActionSA chairperson, Thoko Mashiane, says public infrastructure projects have been captured.

“We heard that the committee of the legislature came here and the Auditor-General investigated issues. So we waited for the report to be given to the community because remember this is not an ActionSA issue, it’s a community issue. People of Nkanala; in particular Steve Tshwete have no hospital. That hospital is too small for them. We were happy as ActionSA that there is a district hospital with 250 to 300 beds that is being build but is not finishing.”

Members of the community are also concerned about the long delay in the completion of the hospital which will replace the old Middleburg Hospital.

“By this time they were supposed to have finished. They are quiet, they don’t tell us what going on, because the hospital we currently have has poor service.”

“This year 2023 it was suppose to work. I see the containers but I don’t see the workers.”

The provincial Public Works spokesperson, Bongani Dlamini, has blamed the delays on community protests and the outbreak of COVID-19 among others.

“However, I must say that the media statement issued by the set organisation is misleading because the Auditor-General did investigations within the hospital. There were no issues of corruption whatsoever that was raised by the Auditor-General. The construction started around 2018 and it was affected by COVID-19 and disruptions by community members. So called business forums also contributed to the delays.” The provincial Health Department has refused to comment.

Source: eNCA

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