Public Protector lauds MEC Mahlangu’s exemplary response to the Chapter 9 institution’s work
Public Protector Adv. Thuli Madonsela is encouraged by the Gauteng Department of Health for its swift response to the conditions and plight of patients at Mamelodi Regional Hospital in Pretoria.
On Thursday, Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu undertook to prioritise the upgrade of the hospital, fund vacant posts and improve patient care as a matter of urgency.
MEC Mahlangu’s encouraging undertaking followed her visit to the hospital on Wednesday, which was prompted by the Public Protector’s unannounced visit to the facility the day before.
During her visit, the Public Protector was greeted by complaints of staff shortages, inadequate space for beds and poor emergency medical services. She found patients sleeping on the floor and benches, with wheelchairs substituting stretchers.
Reacting to MEC Mahlangu’s exemplary response to her office’s work, the Public Protector urged other organs of state to take findings and interventions of her office in the same spirit, reiterating that her office was a useful resource to highlight governance and service lapses rather than an enemy of the state.
“MEC Mahlangu’s approach is consistent with the undertaking Premier David Makhura made to cooperating with my office which includes implementing all remedial action. The undertaking was made during our stakeholder consultation meeting with his government in Johannesburg last year,” the Public Protector said.
The Public Protector’s visit to the hospital was part of the activities of the annual Good Governance Week, a five-year-old initiative by her office that seeks to shine a spotlight on the importance of clean governance and the impact thereof on the delivery quality public services that give effect to the constitutional promises of an improved quality of life for and a freed potential of each person.
On Wednesday the Public Protector Team visited Siyabuswa Shopping Complex in Mpumalanga where community members used the opportunity to lodge complaints. They made allegations of nepotism in government EPWP related projects, locals being overlooked for job opportunities and that they do not have a clinic among others. Another resident from Toitskraal informed the Public Protector that she is happy with government services as they have electricity, water, street lights and garbage collection. The campaign has also been used to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Public Protector as a constitutional institution tasked with strengthening constitutional democracy through investigation improper conduct, reporting on that conduct and taking appropriate remedial action.
The focus of the celebrations include reflecting on the last two decades of the work of the institution, noting the successes and challenges and mapping the way forward with the aim of raising awareness about the implications of bad governance for ordinary people and the role of the Public Protector in exacting accountability on those exercising public power and control over state resources.