News Column

Curator Appointed to Mend Mpumalanga Health Dept

July 7, 2014

The Mpumalanga Provincial Government has appointed the MEC for Finance, Eric Kholwane, to the role of curator in the ailing provincial Department of Health.

The financial delegations of the Department of Health are now with the curator, and only the human resource delegations remain with the Health MEC.

This was announced by MEC Kholwane on Friday during a special media briefing to outline the interventions that are being implemented following the decision of the Executive Council to place the Department of Health under the curatorship.

"The decision was informed by the worrying state of governance in the department, which is nearing a total collapse," said the MEC.

The provincial government intervened in the department in October last year. Various forms of assistance were provided to the department, however, the situation deteriorated and the decision to place the department under curatorship was taken.

MEC Kholwane said despite the assistance provided, internal controls remained ineffective, infrastructure was not maintained, challenges with the provision of food and waste management remained, and there was poor management of laundry services.

"This resulted in the department accumulating pre-audited accruals of approximately R470 million, which it failed to manage," he said.

The Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) obliges the provincial government to manage the resources effectively. The Act also empowers the Provincial Treasury to institute measures to protect the integrity of the provincial budget. In line with the Section 17 (2) of the PFMA, the MEC for Finance as the Head of Provincial Treasury can take the policy and other decisions of treasury.

Section 18 (2) (g) instructs the Provincial Treasury to take appropriate steps to address a serious or persistent breach of the Act.

Terms of reference

MEC Kholwane also announced on Friday that the Executive Council had approved the terms of reference for the curator to be implemented immediately.

The work of the curator is divided into six work streams which are to improve financial management and assist in the stabilisation of the finances of the department, to improve direct services to patients through the improvement of operational management of facilities and to establish a compliant and effective Supply Chain Management System.

The curator will also improve facilities to ensure the delivery of core standards of service delivery.

Team leaders have been appointed for each of the six areas to manage and address the issues that need attention in the department.

"While the provincial government will be remedying the state of affairs in the Department of Health, a process of investigation will concurrently be undertaken and those who are found to have contributed in the maladministration in the department will be held accountable," said the MEC.


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Source: AllAfrica

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