NEWS & ANALYSIS

Management failure to blame for collapse of hospitals – Alan Fuchs

DA says GDID is responsible for site management on any of their projects, a responsibility that the department has abdicated

Collapsing Hospital roofs and ceilings are a result of maintenance and management failure

24 July 2017

The recent spate of collapsing roofs and ceilings in Gauteng’s provincial hospitals point to a failure of management and maintenance by the Gauteng government.

In March of this year, a section of the roof at the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital collapsed, causing minor injuries to 5 people.

This past week, part of the ceiling at Tembisa Hospital’s labour ward collapsed, injuring an employee from the ante-natal ward. In addition, the ceiling of a bathroom at a maternity ward at Pholosong Hospital in Tsakane caved in, injuring an employee.

Gauteng’s Department of Infrastructure Development (GDID) was quick to blame the contractor at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital for negligence and tried to absolve themselves of any culpability. The fact of the matter is that GDID, as the project manager, is responsible for site management on any of their projects, a responsibility that the department has abdicated.

This is mainly due to a lack of expertise.

The maintenance of Gauteng’s building infrastructure has been a bone of contention for many years. Despite the implementation of a maintenance computer system, the quality of maintenance in government buildings has left much to be desired.

This has led to GDID, via the MEC Jacob Mamabolo, indicating that a ‘turnaround strategy’ was necessary to ensure maintenance of an acceptable standard.

There are too few skilled technical resources to fix maintenance problems and to support the computer systems, contestation as to which contractors are granted maintenance contracts and insufficient maintenance budgets are all contributing factors to poor quality maintenance.

As if it is not bad enough that residents are impacted by poor quality services in public facilities, they also run the risk of being injured by badly maintained buildings.

This is not acceptable. The DA will continue to pressure GDID to get their act together.

Issued by Alan Fuchs, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Infrastructure Development, 24 July 2017