Chris Hani Baragwanath outages cost lives

Gauteng health MEC Ntombi Mekgwe yesterday confirmed that Africa’s biggest hospital had gone through six power outages that lasted between 4 and 11 hours at a stretch.

The outages occurred on January 3 and 20, April 27, 28 and 30 as well as May 15.

Mekgwe revealed this in the Gauteng legislature, adding that the blackouts were due to a number of issues, including cable theft and cable feed burnout.

DA caucus leader and the party’s spokesman on health, Jack Bloom, alleged that doctors were left to provide oxygen on their own during the most recent outage.

“The information I have is that doctors had to ventilate manually in the dark during the most recent outage,” Bloom said.

Mekgwe had earlier told the house that during the May 15 blackout a generator had kicked in late.

Meanwhile, local government and housing MEC Humphrey Mmemezi has declined to answer questions about his department’s plans to auction off a damaged BMW X5 that was involved in a crash in Umzimkhulu, KwaZulu-Natal, in November last year.

Earlier this month it was reported that senior managers in his office had planned to auction the vehicle because it was badly damaged.

But Mmemezi declined to answer questions about the vehicle “because the matter had since been referred to the integrity commissioner”.

DA spokesman on local government and housing Fred Nel had wanted to know the identity of the driver of the vehicle, the accident report number issued and why the insurance company had refused to pay.

Nel’s questions regarding Mmemezi’s alleged misuse of his official credit card also went unanswered.

Mmemezi reportedly spent R10, 000 on artwork at a McDonalds on October 12 as well as R60, 000 on suits and shoes on trip to India.







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