Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
13 Mar 2022
11:59 am

Vital services affected as Gauteng Health Dept owes R3.1 billion to 42,519 suppliers

Citizen Reporter

If you wondered why smelly medical waste is building up at Gauteng hospitals, now you know...

The Gauteng Health Department assured people that the hospital has enough food for patients. (Photo by Gallo Images/Sydney Seshibedi)

The Democratic Alliance (DA) accused the Gauteng Health Department (GHD) of not paying its suppliers on time.

The party said that GHD owes R3.1 billion to 42,519 suppliers who have not been paid within the legally required 30 days.

“This was disclosed last week at a meeting of the Gauteng Legislature’s Finance Committee,” said the party in a statement.

“Tembisa Hospital owes the most – R333 million to 1,576 suppliers,” said the DA’s shadow MEC for health Jack Bloom.

“The Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital owes R234 million to 2,908 suppliers, followed by the Far East Rand Hospital which owes R230 million to 1,795 suppliers,” said Bloom.

Recent problems of food supply at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital can be traced to the R226 million that the hospital owes to 2,477 suppliers.

Other hospitals with large arrear payments include the following:

  • George Mukhari owes R113 million to 2,320 suppliers
  • Steve Biko owes R95 million to 754 suppliers
  • Thelle Mogoerane owes R86 million to 1,696 suppliers 
  • Helen Joseph Hospital owes R70 million to 2,093 suppliers
  • Kalafong owes R69.6 million to 591 suppliers
  • Sebokeng owes R67 million to 860 suppliers
  • Tambo Memorial owes R55 million to 1,573 suppliers

“It is unacceptable that so many suppliers have not been paid and many of them have stopped services, including Buhle Waste, which is why smelly medical waste is building up at Gauteng hospitals,” said Bloom.

Late payments are particularly harsh on small companies who sometimes go under because they run out of cash, and staff and patients suffer when services are cut.

The Department typically runs out of money towards the end of the financial year, so the R3.1 billion arrears will cut into 2022/23 Health Budget of R59.4 billion which starts on 1 April and has not been increased from the previous year.

“A financial bailout will be necessary to clear the arrears, but this should be with strict conditions to fix the poor financial management that plagues this department which is mired in corruption scandals,” said Bloom.

The DA’s allegations come as the department announced that it invested R500 million in Linac Accelerator machines to treat cancer.

Political party Action SA has also called for Gauteng Health Department officials to ‘step aside’ if they cannot run the department efficiently.

Gauteng health has denied it is in a financial crisis. On Friday the department released a statement saying its currently addressing historical payment backlogs.

READ: GP Health dept admits R4 billion debt but denies being in financial crisis

“There is an ongoing process to reconcile and pay supplier invoices to prevent possible duplication of invoices and verification of accounts.

“There are also regular meetings and discussions of financial performance with facilities to improve management of financial resources of the Department. This has led to the reduction of accrual
amount to R4.2 billion,” said the department.

NOW READ: Gauteng Health denies food shortage at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital