The Boitumelo Hospital in Kroonstad has been under construction since 2003 with the project originally envisaged to end back in 2012. To date, it has not been completed and five non-performing contractors later the government is finally fed up.
The newly appointed MEC for Health in the Free State has vowed to deal with non-performing and incompetent contractors or service providers.
MEC Mathabo Leeto in March delivered her maiden budget vote speech at the Phuthaditjhaba Multi-Purpose Centre in Qwaqwa, Maluti-A-Phofung. She said she is not going to tolerate the appointment of incompetent contractors who do not complete their projects timeously. She said incomplete projects by these contractors negatively impact the image of the department.
Leeto said her department has allocated over R700-million for the development of infrastructure across its many health facilities in the province.
Her statement comes as the Boitumelo Hospital in Kroonstad has been under construction since 2003 with the project envisaged to end back in 2012. However, to date, it has not been completed. It’s alleged that five different contractors were brought to work on the project but all failed, despite being paid millions of rands.
“Boitumelo, as you are saying, has been under construction for years. Yes, I am going to request the report because I am new in the department. I am going to request a report because Boitumelo has been in the spotlight and the report I got is that upgrades were being done there but we will have to look at management,” Leeto adds.
The total budget allocated to infrastructure projects, new and continuing, for the financial year 2023/24, amounts to R704-billion.
Some of the health facilities which have been identified for infrastructure development in the province, are:
- Gariep Dam Clinic: Planning and construction of a new replacement clinic
- Vaalrock Clinic in Brandfort: Planning and construction of a new replacement clinic
- Bophelong Clinic in Kroonstad: Planning and construction of a new replacement clinic
- Bophelong Clinic CHC in Petrusburg: Planning and construction of a new replacement community healthcare centre
- Caleb Motshabi CHC in Bloemfontein: Planning and construction of a new replacement Community Healthcare Centre
- Heidedal CHC: Planning and construction of a new replacement Community Healthcare Centre
- Dinaane Clinic in Thaba Nchu: Planning and construction of a new replacement clinic
- Dihlabeng Regional Hospital is currently undergoing an upgrade and extension. This project is funded and implemented by the National Department of Health
In the 2022/23 financial year, an amount of R12.711-billion was allocated to the Department, which increased by 3.7% to R13.182-billion following the budget adjustment of November 2022.
However, Leeto tabled the budget allocation of R12.759-billion for 2023/24, in accordance with the eight budget programmes. “The Department of Health will continuously interact with the communities on issues that affect their health. The MEC for Health and management of the department will continue to utilise ‘Taking Primary Health Care To The People’ as a platform for community engagement and to bring services closer to the people,” Leeto added.
Supplied by OFM, edited by Eamonn Ryan.