The Kwa-Zulu Natal Health Department’s use of its finances is currently under question. This is a result of a claim by the Democratic Alliance concerning a 2.4 million rand upgrade to the department’s Natalia head office’s smoking room.
While many may smirk and dismiss these actions as ironic, the DA takes a firm stance against the health department’s ill-use of its funding. DA spokesperson, Mark Steele said the Democratic Alliance issued an inquiring statement to the Health MEC, Sibongiseni Dhlomo as to why the department felt it would be necessary to direct an estimated 2.4 million rand towards upgrading the Natalia head office’s smoking room.
Steele went on to state that the information was discovered within the contents of an infrastructure project report handed to the health portfolio committee on the 18th of April.
Steele states, “We also want to know how the department can possibly justify this expenditure while patients attend over-crowded and underfunded clinics right here in Pietermaritzburg”
It is apparent that the DA is concerned about the health department’s view of its priorities.
According to a New24 article published late on Tuesday, the health department’s spokesperson, Sam Mkhwanazi suggested that he was unfamiliar with the case and would have to consult the department’s construction company for details. Mr. Mkhwanazi later released another statement denying allegations that the millions were directed towards a smoking room. Instead, Mkhwanazi insisted that the R2.4m was used for a storeroom.
At first, it appeared as if the occupants of the department of Health’s Natalia head office were now breathing a little heavier with a brand new smoking room to match. But now it seems that the residents of the Kwa-Zulu Natal province can rest assured that their health officials are not lighting expensive Cuban cigars during their lunch breaks but, rather, have thoughtfully directed millions to storage space.