Parts of the Tambo Memorial Hospital fell in the blast zone of a liquid gas tanker which exploded on Christmas Eve.
- Jack Bloom will monitor Tambo Memorial Hospital to ensure money for its repair is correctly distributed.
- The DA spokesperson on health commended Gauteng Health MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko for questioning the repair estimate of R18 million.
- The infrastructure department said it would not tolerate corruption.
DA Gauteng spokesperson on health Jack Bloom says he will be monitoring Tambo Memorial Hospital’s repair process to ensure money earmarked for it is correctly distributed.
In a statement on Wednesday, Bloom said his party commended Gauteng Health MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko for questioning the estimated cost of R18 million to fix the Boksburg hospital.
The liquid gas tanker explosion on Christmas Eve damaged its emergency unit, theatres, and antenatal unit.
Thirty-eight people, including 12 healthcare workers, lost their lives and several others are still critical after the blast.
During a site visit last year, Infrastructure MEC Lebogang Maile said it would cost more than R18 million to repair the damage.
The healthcare workers who died were honoured at a memorial service at the Boksburg Civic Centre on Tuesday.
At the service, Nkomo-Ralehoko told reporters she did not want to see a repeat of what happened at the Anglo-Ashanti Hospital where funds were misappropriated.
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She added she agreed with Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa Gauteng chairperson Simphiwe Gada who said repairs at Tambo Memorial Hospital should not be used as an opportunity to steal.
Gada was speaking at a memorial service for the blast victims on 30 December.
The damage to infrastructure should not be an opportunity for looting, as we’ve seen at Charlotte Maxeke [Hospital]. Already, we have a call for R18 million to fix the hospital. This tragedy should not be used as an opportunity to steal.
In his statement on Wednesday, Bloom called Maile’s department corrupt.
“This amount was cited by Maile, but his department is notoriously corrupt, and disreputable people may want to benefit from the damage to the hospital.
“We saw this with greedy companies that profited from money earmarked for the Covid epidemic, including R500 million for alterations to the Anglo Ashanti Hospital on the Far West Rand, which is now abandoned.”
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The original estimate for the hospital was R50 million.
“I will be monitoring the repair process to ensure that decent contractors repair the Tambo Memorial Hospital in good time and within budget.”
In response to the statement, Maile’s spokesperson, Castro Ngobese, said the department stood by the R18 million estimate to fix the hospital.
“We are custodians of infrastructure in the province. The reports at our disposal done by an ethical and competent team of professionals estimate the cost to be at R18 million. Such a report can easily be shared with the public or any other interested parties.
“We have publicly stated that we will not tolerate any act of corruption, if it happens, decisive action will be taken against those responsible.
“We stand by the R18 million cost. Not unless others know something we don’t know as [the Department of Infrastructure and Development],” he added.