…By Judah Olanisebee for TDPel Media.
Costly Incomplete Hospital Wards Raise Concerns in Vereeniging
Hospital wards at Koponong Hospital in Vereeniging, intended to aid COVID-19 patients during the height of the pandemic, have remained incomplete for three years, at a staggering cost of R115 million.
Gauteng Health MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko revealed this information in response to questions raised by the DA’s Jack Bloom in the Legislature.
Unfinished Wards and Missed Deadlines: The initial plan was to utilize Alternative Building Technology (ABT) to expedite the completion of the 300 ICU bed unit.
Unfortunately, the implementation of ABT fell significantly behind schedule and was ultimately abandoned.
As a result, all the wards remain incomplete, as the contracted service provider proved unable to finish the project, leading to the termination of their contract.
It was also discovered that the contractor failed to pay subcontractors, exacerbating the situation.
The Consequences of Mismanagement: The revelation of the incomplete hospital wards has sparked criticism, with Jack Bloom of the DA denouncing the project as a colossal waste of money that could have been allocated to addressing the urgent needs of existing public hospitals.
Bloom further accuses the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development (GDID) of incompetence in selecting contractors who consistently fail to complete projects yet receive substantial payment.
A Pattern of Inefficiency: The DA asserts that a staggering total of nearly R2 billion has been squandered on COVID-19-related projects, including R500 million spent on the abandoned Anglo Ashanti Hospital on the Far West Rand.
This pattern of inefficiency and wasteful expenditure raises concerns about the overall management and oversight within the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development.
Conclusion: The unfinished hospital wards at Koponong Hospital stand as a stark reminder of the mismanagement of resources and poor contractor selection.
The costly project, intended to assist COVID-19 patients, remains incomplete years later, emphasizing the urgent need for better oversight and accountability in infrastructure development.
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