Standing Committee on Appropriations commenced with the first leg of its comprehensive five days’ oversight visit to Free State province.
Outlining the significance of the oversight visit, the Chairperson of the committee, Ms Yvonne Phosa, said: “We are here as the Standing Committee on Appropriations from Parliament. A primary objective in the mandate of the committee, as provided for in the Money Bills Act, is to ascertain whether the budgets and spending patterns are in line with voted budgets and tabled strategic plans and annual performance plans. The committee is here to ensure and ascertain budgeted funds are utilised and spent in accordance with the principles of equity, efficiency and effectiveness, as envisioned in the Constitution. We are also here to find opportunities for best possible solutions together on how we can ensure the provision of quality services for our people.”
The first stop was at 3 Military Hospital within Tempe Military base in Bloemfontein. The hospital provides general medical treatment services to all military personnel, medical dependants, and military veterans in Free State, Northern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, parts of Eastern Cape and North West provinces.
The Committee was also extremely dejected to learn about the poor conditions inside the 2011 constructed Hospital Complex that shows huge structural defects, ranging from small ward sizes, narrow hospital corridors and poor medical equipment installation, among other discomforting issues.
Some of the common challenges identified are leaking roofs, burst sewage pipes, incomplete buildings, poor living conditions for military staff and small lift sizes.
Committee has emphasised an urgent need to address poor fencing conditions around the entire military establishment for protection of the infrastructure and equipment.
The Committee resolved to convene a joint meeting which would include the Department of Public Works, Health, Defence and Treasury to reflect on these challenges and the collaboration strategy to address them.
The committee will table its report, findings and recommendations to National Assembly for consideration and adoption.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.
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