The Joint Standing Committee on Defence is “extremely concerned” by the R1bn of never ending repair and maintenance programme (Ramp) at 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria, which has contributed to it losing its accreditation as a level-4 hospital by the African Union and United Nations to support external and international peace-keeping operations.
BusinessTech reports that the committee has asked for a forensic report commissioned by the former chief of the SA National Defence Force and progress so far in implementing that report’s recommendations.
“We find it problematic that the Ramp that started in 2005/2006 financial year is yet to be concluded … the project is turning into a milking cow with no end in sight, which negatively affects the fiscus,” said Elleck Nchabeleng, the co-chairperson of the committee.
BusinessTech added that the committee “welcomes the intentions to use the Defence Works Formation to finalise the project” but is disturbed by the funding uncertainty and the projected 29 months to finish the project.
Another concern is the escalating cost paid by the department for medical outsourcing because of the stalled project. Between the 2016/17 and 2019/20 financial years, the department spent R138.7 million, R177.8 million, R130.3 million and R182.4 million respectively.
“The 1 Military Hospital lost its accreditation as a level-four hospital by the African Union and United Nations to support external and international peace-keeping operations, largely due to the non-completion of the repair and maintenance work commissioned in 2006,” said committee co-chairperson, Cyril Xaba.
The committee also expressed disappointment that a whistle-blower who lodged corruption allegations against former Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has refused to supply an affidavit to initiate the investigation.
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