Parliament, Wednesday, 22 July 2020 – The joint meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Health and the Select Committee on Health and Social Services expressed their concern about the Eastern Cape Provincial Department of Health’s strategies to address challenges in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Responding to the presentation from the Eastern Cape Project Management Unit (PMU) deployed to support the province in its Covid-19 response, the committees expressed their dissatisfaction about the province’s state of readiness. However, they appreciated the work achieved thus far, while noting that much more still needs to be done. The plans and interventions presented lacked definite time frames, which also frustrated the committees.
The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, said even though the report lacked detail, it is reassuring to receive reports on the ongoing work being done in the province. Following the committee’s oversight visit in the Eastern Cape in June, there has been significant progress. “We are not happy with certain things that are happening, but we commend the work that is being done by the Eastern Cape Project Management Unit.”
The Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, said there are problems in the Eastern Cape, however, he indicated that work is being done and the loopholes must be closed. He said: “The Eastern Cape has challenges and weaknesses, just like the rest of the provinces, however, the issue of invoking section 100 of the Constitution in the Eastern Cape, which was raised by some of the members of the committees is something we are aware of as a possibility, but we are not there yet.”
According to Dr Mkhize, the issues raised by the committees on staffing, ambulances, corruption, shortages in oxygen supply, and other infrastructure challenges are matters that the Department of Health is well versed in and are being attended to by the province. Dr Mkhize has travelled to all the provinces and has provided support that included the deployment of officials from the Department of Health to the provincial departments of health.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON HEALTH, DR SIBONGISENI DHLOMO, AND THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES, MS MAURENCIA GILLION.
For media enquiries or interviews with the Chairperson, please contact the committee’s Media Officer:
Name: Ms Yoliswa Landu
Parliamentary Communication Services
Tel: 021 403 8203
Cell: 081 497 4694
- Our Parliament
- About Parliament
- What Parliament does
- National Assembly
- National Council of Provinces
- Constituency Work
- Ethics and Member's Interests
- Role of Parliamentary Committees
- Parliament Art
- Visiting Parliament
- Contact Us
- Our People
- Presiding Officers
- Members of Parliament
- Business Of Parliament
- Parliament Programme
- Questions and Replies
- Parliamentary Papers
- Parliamentary Budget Office
- Office on Institutions Supporting Democracy
- Have Your Say