DA Gauteng Premier Candidate, Solly Msimanga, DA Team One Spokesperson on Immigration, Jacques Julius and DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC, Jack Bloom addressing the media after they had been barred from doing an oversight inspection at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.
Today, Democratic Alliance (DA) members of the provincial and national legislatures were barred from conducting an oversight inspection at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital. This is unacceptable, and in violation of the DA members’ constitutional oversight mandate to hold the governing party accountable.
The DA understands that this refusal stemmed from an instruction from the Gauteng Health MEC, Gwen Ramokgopa, to the Head of Department, Mkhululi Lukhele. The response from Lukhele reads:
“In a briefing a week ago, the MEC indicated to me that a resolution was taken at an NHC teleconference not to allow any political parties at all national facilities to give management a space to do the work”
The DA will report this matter to the Gauteng Provincial Legislature Integrity Committee.
The Democratic Alliance sought to conduct this oversight in light of alarming figures and statements emanating from the provincial and national Departments of Health. These include comments from Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, claiming that foreign nationals were the reason our hospitals were overcrowded and caused infection control to fail.
If the Minister’s comments are true, the failing ANC has been grossly negligent in their administration of immigration policy, for allowing the influx that is contributing to the collapse of our health system. If the Minister’s comments are false, he has shown a reckless disregard for the safety of foreign nationals given South Africa’s history of violence targeted at foreign nationals.
The DA therefore set out to ascertain the facts, so that proper information could be made available to the public about the state of health services in Gauteng. With the provincial government set to spend fully one third – R50 billion – of its budget on health, it is vital that we make a proper diagnosis of the challenges crippling the system.
South Africa needs a government that will take the issue of immigration seriously. The DA is the only party that will ensure we have reliable border security, so that we are able to know exactly who is coming into and out of the country at all times. Only when we have a firm grip on the numbers of citizens in our country can we:
budget appropriately to ensure that we can provide services to everyone who depends on us; and
make choices about the numbers of people we allow to settle in the country, based on our budgetary capacity to provide all the services we are obliged to in terms of the constitution.
Only the DA can solve our immigration crisis and build One South Africa for all.