The Democratic Alliance is shocked at the response of Nancy Sihlwayi, the ANC MEC responsible for Social Development in the Eastern Cape Province. Her response as contained in The Herald newspaper of today, 2 December 2016, was insensitive, uncaring, and inconclusive and lacks clear leadership direction.
The MEC must stop evading the important questions that are on the minds of local citizens and provide answers to the following:
- How many interested and capable NPO applications did her department receive to date and who are they;
- Were administrative, financial, health and infrastructural capacity verification checks done on the NPO’s as this matter requires highly specialised care services;
- What criteria will the department use to determine which patients will remain in PE NPO’s and which patients will be referred to outlying NPO’s/areas;
- What are the transportation plans for profoundly disabled patients who have to be transported to new facilities as this requires specialised vehicles and staff;
- When will family members be informed as to when and where their loved ones will be placed?
As the political head, and ultimately the responsible individual, for this department and its actions, it is crucial – now more than ever – for MEC Sihlwayi to provide clear and straight answers to the aforementioned critical questions before her silence on the matter leads to possible death and millions of rands of civil litigation.
Breaking the silence will ensure dignity to patients and peace of mind to family and concerned members of the public, especially during this season of joyfulness and goodwill.
The MEC is again requested to do the right thing and that is to ensure that there is much greater transparency regarding this issue.
As a caring DA provincial government in waiting, we would have dealt with this issue in a much more caring, inclusive, open and transparent manner. — Kobus Botha MPL, Shadow MEC for Social Development