Premier Mokonyane promises to fix the broken Gauteng


Delivering her state of the province address at the University of Pretoria’s Mamelodi campus yesterday,  the Premier said influx migrants at hospitals was a result of referrals of patients from other provinces.

While the number of health facilities increased, she said the provincial health budget remained stagnant.

Gauteng was recently hit by a crisis after it failed to pay its health care bills.

Now Mokonyane wants to split the troubled health and social development department with the health department having its own head of department and MEC. The unbundling will see current MEC Ntombi Mekgwe retaining the health portfolio.

However, the social development department would not have its own MEC but would form part of a yet unnamed MEC’s additional responsibility

Mokonyane said details of who would be responsible for social development in the province would be announced later.

She said there had been assumptions that combining the two departments would give greater synergy but that the opposite had since proven true.

The health department has been in the news lately, owing to its mounting debt – calculated to be about R3-billion at last count.

The financial mess even saw the National Treasury step in and place the department under administration.

Mokonyane yesterday reiterated that her government was not under administration and that the intervention launched by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, according to section 100 of the constitution, was in fact called for by her administration.

It was also announced that the health department was owed R1.4-billion by other provinces.

Financial woes in the province dominated sections of Mokonyane’s address and the actions her government would take in the coming months.

She announced that plans were in the pipeline to have a single municipality on the West Rand.

She said the Westonaria and Merafong municipalities were not viable as separate entities.

The province’s dire job situation once again came to the fore.

Though she complimented her government for creating 281686 jobs by December last year, Mokonyane said only 5629 were permanent posts while 235159 jobs resulted from the expanded public works programme.

Roads works will be attended to given the priority it deserves.”Pot-holes are an eye-sore,”she said.

On the controversial e-toll, the Premier says they’re engaging with all relevant stakeholders to find solution to it as soon as possible.


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