KZN Health’s shocking audit is testimony to MEC Dhlomo’s leadership

Democratic Alliance media statement by Dr Imran Keeka, MPL

DA KZN Spokesperson on  Health

 

KZN Health’s shocking audit is testimony to MEC Dhlomo’s leadership

 

A recent presentation by the Office of the Auditor-General to the KwaZulu-Natal Health portfolio committee has reinforced the Democratic Alliance’s view that the province’s Health Department is in crisis. According to the A-G’s findings, the DoH has received yet another qualified audit with the recent findings confirming:

  • Irregular expenditure up by R1.47 billion to R8.96 billion;
  • Medico Legal Claims up from R10.2 billion to R17.56 billion;
  • Very poor management of irregular expenditure and no investigations into such irregularities;
  • A recurring problem in terms of asset management;
  • A failure to submit proper records of performance; and
  • Overall instability and lack of accountability within the department’s structures.

This is nothing short of a filthy audit and the KZN Health MEC, Sibongiseni Dhlomo and his department should hang their heads in shame. The last time the department had a clean audit was in 2006.

Equally damning is the A-G’s comment to the portfolio committee that he and his team are worried that the Treasury task team – deployed to fix the department’s numerous problems – is not producing the desired outcome. This revelation is nothing short of stunning and has effectively poured cold water on KZN Premier Willies Mchunu and his Finance MEC’s ‘big talk’ and suggestions of an effective intervention.

The A-G also found that the department’s leadership “did not exercise effective oversight and monitoring over the consistent application of policies and procedures, implementation and monitoring of action plans and related internal controls to achieve reliable and credible financial and performance reporting as well as compliance with applicable legislation”.

Also disturbing are the comments by the A-G that the DoH could not verify time-keeping records for overtime payments, with the result that his office was unable to verify the “facts” and figures supplied.

This raises very serious concerns around the legitimacy of any information supplied to the portfolio committee and to the public. The DA has long been mistrustful about information supplied by the MEC and his department, particularly when it comes to the figures around the province’s oncology crisis.

This finding has only brought MEC Dhlomo and his department into further disrepute.

Further concerns expressed by the A-G include the very slow response by the department’s political leadership and officials in terms of its earlier recommendations.

Added to this is the finding that while the department continues to make promises to improve audit outcomes, there is no evidence to support this, with the supply chain process in total chaos and – even more alarmingly – a recent hostage situation involving the HOD as a result of this pandemonium.

The A-G’s report has confirmed that KZN’s Department of Health is in ruins. This is testament to the fact that MEC Dhlomo has utterly failed in terms of his leadership role. It is also indicative of the massive corruption that continues unchallenged while the MEC collaborates with the very thugs who are holding his department hostage.

The DA again calls on the Premier to do the right thing and fire MEC Dhlomo. Nothing less will do.

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