DA DRIVES BHISHO ON IDLE CLINICS: DAILY DISPATCH

THE DA in the Eastern Cape tabled a motion before the Bhisho legislature yesterday to get all mobile clinics in the province licensed.

DA MPL and spokesman on transport, Dacre Haddon, said: “I have also written to the MEC for transport Thandiswa Marawu asking her how many unlicensed mobile clinics there are in the province and by when these clinics will be licensed and operational.”

Haddon also intends to ask for a full report on the matter to be tabled to the transport portfolio committee.

He said the matter was not new, and it was imperative that an immediate “workable strategy” be put in place to prevent it occurring again.

Haddon listed that there were 17 mobile clinics sitting idle in Cacadu as they cannot be legally driven to communities.

In Camdeboo and Blue Crane municipalities, there are three vehicles each which need licensing.

In the Amathole District Municipality (ADM), mobile clinics, while operational, are also standing idle due to non-licensing.

“This is a criminal state of affairs and heads must roll in this fiasco,” said Haddon.

“I will be asking the MECs for health [Sicelo Gqobana] and transport what caused this problem and what disciplinary action will be taken against the officials involved,” he said yesterday before tabling the motion.

Provincial health spokesman Sizwe Kupelo said the delay had been caused when the department regained control of its fleet from Fleet Africa. However, the department of transport had paid for the licensing of the vehicles, and they will be reimbursed for this.

“The vehicles are being licensed.”

Kupelo said the other delay was due to petrol-card fraud, which they were currently dealing with to ensure all vehicles would purchase petrol through an efuel system.

“By next week, they [mobile clinics] will be on the roads,” he said. Kupelo could not say how many mobile clinics needed licensing in the province.

In July the Dispatch reported that six mobile clinics intended to serve rural areas in the ADM and Buffalo City Metro (BCM) had been standing idle for nearly a year.

This was due to the vehicles either having mechanical problems or not having licences.

“Once again communities suffer basic service delivery of a mobile clinic due to ineptitude of the officials involved.

“It is humanely cruel for anyone to have to suffer discomfort or pain or illness because some lax officials have not been able to license mobile clinics that can serve these sick people,” said Haddon.

Provincial transport spokesman Ncedo Kumbaca had said the vehicles owed more than R500 000 in outstanding registration fees.

The provincial department of health took over the running of municipal clinics in May this year.

Kumbaca had put the blame on health officials for failing to license the vehicles.

Yesterday, Kumbaca said transport was working together with health to resolve the issue and vehicles were already being registered. — vuyiswav@dispatch.co.za