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‘NC hospitals a dumping ground for ANC cadres’


The Democratic Alliance is accusing the ANC of giving names through to the district office for the pending appointments, without interviews being scheduled

THE Democratic Alliance is accusing the Department of Health of using hospitals as "dumping grounds" for cadres. File image

WHILE claims of irregular staff procurement practices have been rubbished, the DA in the Province has accused the Northern Cape Department of Health of disregarding policy by giving preferential treatment to members of the ANC.

DA spokesperson for Health, Isak Fritz, accused the department of allowing its hospitals to become the “choice dumping ground for ANC cadres”.

Fritz said that four ANC volunteers were allegedly deployed to the Kakamas Hospital two weeks ago after the CEO, Eddie du Plessis, met with ANC councillors to get the names of cadres in waiting.

“These names were then given through to the district office for the pending appointments, without interviews having being scheduled,” he claimed.

“In the meantime, cleaners, who had been volunteering at the hospital and working without compensation for six months, were not even considered for the posts and have since been replaced by the ‘new’ volunteers, who are in line for permanent employment.”

Fritz also claimed that complaints regarding the work of these volunteers were streaming in, but were being disregarded.

“This is not the first time that such irregularities have occurred,” he said. “Last year, interviews for eight cleaner positions at Kakamas were cancelled after Hospersa intervened because only ANC volunteers were invited to the interviews.”

According to the DA a vacancy for an administrative clerk had also been filled under “suspicious circumstances”, while the position for a nursing manager had been vacant for over a year because the ANC had been unable to find a cadre with the requisite skills for the job.

“This is despite there being a critical shortage of nursing staff at the facility, which is aggravated by the CEO ‘loaning’ posts out to other towns.

“On top of this, Kakamas Hospital has not had a functional hospital board for over a year in spite of nominations having been sent to MEC Lebogang Motlhaping. We can only surmise that this is because the ANC wants a purely green and gold hospital board as well.

“It has become blatantly obvious that cleaning, administrative and even managerial hospital posts are being set aside for ANC volunteers only. This has become so blatant that certain health facilities, such as the Kakamas Hospital, are starting to resemble an ANC branch instead of a health facility.”

Spokesperson for the provincial Department of Health, Lebogang Majaha, reacted by accusing Fritz of being a propagandist.

“The office of the MEC for Health wishes to put it on record that the allegations levelled against the department, of it being a dumping ground for ANC cadres, are misleading and devoid of any truth,” Majaha said. “The department has always followed the correct selection and recruitment process when filling funded and vacant posts.”

Majaha pointed out that during his department’s budget speech, Motlhaping had highlighted that, in a bid to mitigate the risk of poor quality services and unclean facilities amidst financial constraints, 500 EPWP workers would be appointed to health care facilities.

“That move was hailed and applauded by the Democratic Alliance during the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature house sitting,” he said.

Regarding the health governance structures process, Majaha stated that earlier this year the department opened calls for nominations of clinic and hospital boards during which community members were requested to nominate their preferred candidates.

“Adverts and jingles ran in both print media and on community radio stations. We can announce that health governance structures were re-established in the Province successfully without any hindrance,” he added.