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Gauteng Health underspends R559m on capital assets – Jack Bloom MPL

The Gauteng Health Department failed to spend a whopping R559 million on capital assets in the last financial year which ended on 31 March, despite a huge need for new machinery and hospital buildings which are falling apart.

This was revealed at a meeting of the Gauteng Legislature’s Health Committee last week on Friday.

According to the Department’s Fourth Quarter report which covers the January to March 2018 period, only R1.564 billion (73%) was spent out of a total R2.123 billion budget for capital assets.

R443 million was underspent for machinery and equipment, and R115 million of the capital budget was not spent on buildings and other fixed structures.

The Department’s chronic inability to spend on capital assets continues in this financial year with a freeze on all new building projects.

This means that urgently needed projects like extra wards at the Edenvale and Tembisa hospitals and new hospitals in Kempton Park, Daveyton and Soshanguve will be further delayed.

Because of overspending in other areas, the overall underspend for the 2017/18 financial year was R179 million.

This highlights poor financial management in a Department that has a deep budget hole which leads to suppliers not paid on time and deteriorating health services.

African news agency

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