R115 million wasted on uncompleted wards in Gauteng hospital

Health Politics

Tebogo Msimanga |

One hundred and fifteen million (R115) million was spent at the Kopanong hospital in Vereeniging on the wards meant to be used for the Covid-19 pandemic, but not a single one has been completed and the Gauteng Health Department has no plans for what has been built.

DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC by Jack Bloom said this was revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko in a written reply to his questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

“According to the MEC, the wards are all incomplete because the appointed service provider was unable to finish the project and their contract was terminated. The original plan in 2020 was to rapidly build 300 ICU beds for Covid-19 patients using Alternative Building Technology (ABT), but it fell way behind schedule and was never used”.

Bloom added that there was also controversy because the contractor failed to pay subcontractors.

“Now the Department says they are “reviewing the structure for possible use as office space for the District.” Bloom reiterated that this project has been a monstrous waste of money that should have been used to fix existing public hospitals.

“It’s yet another example of gross incompetence by the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development (GDID) which routinely chooses poor contractors who fail to finish but still get paid huge amounts of money”.

Bloom said “as usual”, corruption is suspected and the MEC says GDID are investigating the issue.

The DA has yet to see any real consequences from these never-ending “investigations”.

Nearly R2 billion in total was wasted money released for the Covid-19 pandemic, including R500 million on the abandoned Anglo Ashanti Hospital on the Far West Rand.

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