Daily Dispatch

Department­s clash over R2.5bn

Eastern Cape health and treasury set for ‘crisis talks’ to resolve ‘personalit­y’ difference­s


observatio­ns with my counterpar­t, [Phumulo] Masualle.

“It does not appear they have capacity, both of them, to sit alone without any other person,” he said adding the matter centred around a clash of personalit­ies.

“We’ll rather meet in a meeting as the two department­s to thrash out the issues. To have a stalemate with treasury becomes dangerous,” Gqobana said.

Contacted yesterday, Masualle


downplayed the saga, but said he had a problem talking about personalit­ies.

“I don’t think personalit­ies should distort the environmen­t that is there, particular­ly in health,” said Masualle.

Mbina-mthembu said: “Those are unknown news to me and I can’t comment further.”

But to the committee, Pillay hinted of strained relations with the treasury head and said there was a need to sort the difference­s out.

“I want to place it on record I do believe if our department and provincial treasury meet, we will address many of the issues,” Pillay said.

Pillay pinned the difference­s down to treasury presenting financial figures to the cabinet budget committee without verifying the informatio­n with his department despite an agreement to do so.

“I was on vacation when treasury in the last cabinet budget committee presented the figures and dropped a bombshell to say the department of health is R2.5-billion to R3billion in the red.

“It never discussed that and never had a meeting with us to say this is what we found,” he said.

Now, the portfolio committee matter resolved urgently.

ANC’S Viola Mtongana said relations between the department­s were worrying as it

wants the was clear they were not on the same footing.

“I am worried about relations between these department­s because the effect of such will strain service delivery,” she added.

Committee chairman Mxolisi Dimaza said his committee was convinced Gqobana and Masualle would cooperate on the matter.

“It is not something that is about ourselves, but about people to get these services,” Dimaza said.

Gqobana said at today’s meeting they hoped to bring plans to turn things around.

“If we have minimal plans, they will beef us up and assist us going forward. I am convinced that working together with treasury, we can turn around the situation.”

Masualle said there were monthly meetings between his department and the province’s biggest department­s – health and education – to look at challenges. — mayibongwe­m@

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