Cash flow prob­lems halt health projects

Diamond Fields Advertiser - - NEWS - SANDI KWON HOO CHIEF RE­PORTER

A NUM­BER of projects com­mis­sioned by the Depart­ment of Health in the North­ern Cape have been halted due to se­ri­ous cash flow prob­lems.

The Prov­ince re­ceived a bud­get of R376 bil­lion from the health fa­cil­ity re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion in­fra­struc­ture grant for the 2018/19 fi­nan­cial year.

In­side sources stated that the al­lo­ca­tions from Trea­sury were ex­hausted, where ser­vice providers were not paid since May.

Out of this bud­get, R7.9 mil­lion was al­lo­cated for the com­ple­tion of the Kim­ber­ley men­tal hos­pi­tal for the first quar­ter, although sub-con­trac­tors said they were not paid due to non-pay­ment to the main con­trac­tors, Mota-Engil Con­struc­tion.

Project Sta­tus

An amount of R12.4 mil­lion was al­lo­cated for the ac­qui­si­tion of clin­i­cal equip­ment for the new men­tal hos­pi­tal, although the cur­rent project sta­tus is marked at zero per­cent.

Ac­cord­ing to the bud­get, the to­tal cost of the new men­tal hos­pi­tal is R4 bil­lion

Con­struc­tion on the R149.2 mil­lion Port Nol­loth health care cen­tre was sus­pended ear­lier this year, where let­ters of de­mand were sent in Au­gust for an out­stand­ing amount of R19.5 mil­lion.

The con­trac­tor in­di­cated that the project was about 80 per­cent com­plete although no work would con­tinue un­til fi­nal pay­ment had been made. “Some pay­ments have since been re­ceived.”

The HOD for Health, Steven Jonkers, in Au­gust, in cor­re­spon­dence, ad­vised that the depart­ment was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing de­lays in pro­cess­ing pay­ment cer­tifi­cates to ser­vice providers.

The con­struc­tion of the R18.1 mil­lion Na­makwa mor­tu­ary in Spring­bok, which is al­most com­plete, can­not con­tinue un­til all out­stand­ing pay­ments are hon­oured.

The con­trac­tor for the R20.2 mil­lion new Boe­goe­berg clinic in Grob­ler­shoop in­di­cated that he was given “strict in­struc­tions” not to speak to the me­dia.

Con­struc­tion on the R14.6 mil­lion phar­macy at Spring­bok Hos­pi­tal can pro­ceed af­ter pay­ment was re­ceived.

Con­struc­tion was sup­posed to be com­pleted in July but will only be fin­ished next year.

Sources in­di­cated that the Kim­ber­ley nurs­ing col­lege stu­dent ac­com­mo­da­tion project, val­ued at R161.4 mil­lion, and the R19 mil­lion clinic at Bankhara Bo­du­long have ap­par­ently also been af­fected be­cause of non-pay­ment, although the con­trac­tors could not be reached for com­ment.

The MEC for Health, Fufe Maka­tong, yes­ter­day in­di­cated that the depart­ment had in fact un­der­spent on its in­fra­struc­ture grant.

“We have just re­ceived rolled over funds from Trea­sury to pay ser­vice providers.”

She added that all pay­ments were up to date with re­gards to the men­tal hos­pi­tal.

“We re­ceived money for op­er­a­tional costs and hope that by the end of the cal­en­dar year pa­tients will be ad­mit­ted at this fa­cil­ity. We are aim­ing to ob­tain spe­cialised equip­ment by the end of this month.”

Maka­tong stated that the Port Nol­loth com­mu­nity health care cen­tre would be com­pleted by the end of the fi­nan­cial year.

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