New Eastern Cape Health MEC in way over her head

Issued by Jane Cowley, MPL
Shadow MEC for Health

Premier Oscar Mabuyane’s cabinet reshuffle, announced this morning, has made it clear that, despite his commitment to employing competent leaders, he has once again pandered to party pressure.

The ANC’s policy demands 60% representation of women in the executive, if the Premier is a man.

Premier Mabuyane has chosen to make an appointment in order to fill a quota, and has chosen an individual that has very little experience in the Legislature, and absolutely no working knowledge of the complexities and challenges that prevail in the Health Department.

In a capable state, the Premier would have put competence and calibre above cadres, corruption and chaos.

In accepting the poisoned chalice of the Department of Health, the new MEC, Nomakhosazana Meth, will have to deal with accruals that are greater than the entire budget of her previous department. She will also have to contend with medico-legal claims against the department and the ever-burgeoning contingent liability, now in excess of R37 billion.

If ever there was a time that the Department required a level head, a deep working knowledge of the challenges of the Department of Health, and a firm and unwavering commitment to turning the ship around and making it functional again, it was now.

Instead, the Premier has shifted the deckchairs on the Titanic and effectively rung the death knell of health services in the province.