The City of Ekurhuleni will no longer be rendering ambulance services as of 1 July 2020 and the function will be taken over by Gauteng Province Health.
Ekurhuleni will only be doing Fire and Rescue services.
This move has been criticised by the DA in the metro, who believes it will violate residents’ constitutional rights to health, reports Kempton Express.
Ald Tania Campbell, DA member for community safety in Ekurhuleni, said: “The DA opposes the politically driven decision to provincialise the city’s ambulance services and its employees, mainly because there was no prior consultation and the documentation about the decision has not been made available to interested parties.
“Although not smoothly operated, the City of Ekurhuleni has run the emergency medical service on behalf of the Gauteng provincial government for more than a decade.”
William Ntladi, spokesperson for Ekurhuleni emergency services, said the proposal for provincialisation was made about 10 years ago. The matter has been on and off the table for discussion as there was no tangible and confirmed date.
He said the City received the confirmed date of 30 June on 20 January this year.
“The City has been providing ambulance services on behalf of the province on an agency basis. A memorandum of agreement was signed between the City and the province, as the function of emergency medical services, constitutionally, is the function of the province,” said Ntladi.
“If Ekurhuleni wants to continue with the rendering of the service, it has to apply for a licence from the MEC of health.”
Campbell said the City purchased specialised equipment worth R108,691,876 and province had not said a word on how it would compensate the metro.
“It is concerning that despite the City having had months to sort out the transfer of the ambulance service, it has done so without taking into consideration the backlash and negative consequences of its actions to communities.”
This article first appeared on Alberton Record and has been republished with permission.