Patients suffer as R9.2million RK Khan Hospital roof repairs remain incomplete after five years

Issued by Edwin Baptie, MPL – DA KZN Spokesperson on Health
24 May 2023 in Press Statements

A recent oversight inspection of the beleaguered RK Khan Hospital has revealed that a R9,2 million roof repair project – begun five years ago – remains incomplete, leaving the facility short of four wards, two theatres and 170 beds.

The full impact does not stop there, with patients being relocated to Clairwood Hospital – reducing that facility’s bed count and creating further logistical issues including patient care and waiting times, along with extra costs.

Regrettably, the situation at RK Khan is not isolated and reveals severe flaws in project planning and management, procurement, and governance by KZN’s ANC-run Department of Health (DoH) under MEC Nomagugu Simelane.

The roofing repairs have been fraught with delays. To begin with, the delay from project conception to site occupation was 28 months. Then, what should have been a 14-month project was terminated 18 months later despite only 30% of the work being completed.

The so-called reasons and excuses for the delays are of little concern to the many people who rely on RK Khan and Clairwood hospital. For many, these failures could mean the difference between life and death.

Such failure to deliver is being played out repeatedly across our country, particularly in ANC-run provinces. This is no coincidence.

Despite politicians being compelled to locate and account for fundamental causes behind failures and fix them, lately there is an attempt by ANC politicians to deflect blame to officials.

This is from an organisation that governs unilaterally and often vindictively, poisoning the work environment through cadre deployment and enabling the outright looting of government entities and departments through tender and price rigging.

The DoH has now given KZN’s Department of Public Works one last chance to fix the roof and associated building defects at RK Khan. This means that emergency procurement processes must be used to fast-track the appointment of a capable contractor. In the event that a contractor is not on site by 16 June 2023, the DoH will take over the project.

This ANC government does not deserve another chance – it has already had six. It is the ANC’s practices, proven poor performance and divisive policies that have led us to where we are today.

To fix KZN’s DoH and every other state organisation wilting under a culture of greed and corruption, there needs to be a regime change. Good governance is the starting point to rebuilding our future. What has taken 29 years to destroy can be fixed but it will depend on how citizens vote next year.

The turnaround being witnessed within the DA-run uMngeni Municipality and the economic growth and service delivery in the DA-led Western Cape are achievable under a government that operates on merit, the rule of law, non-racialism and a focus on serving the interests of our people.

The DA remains committed to fighting for proper healthcare services for KZN’s people. They deserve a government that delivers.