The funds to pay the R160.64m arbitration award to 135 families of victims of the Life Esidimeni tragedy will come proportionately from all provincial government departments. Business Day reports that this is according to the Democratic Alliance’s (DA’s) Jack Bloom who said this had been revealed by Gauteng director-general Phindile Baleni at a meeting of the oversight committee on the premier’s office in the Gauteng Legislature.
She said that the National Treasury would not provide any funds for this‚ and that the money would be taken from the budgets of the provincial departments‚ Bloom said. The National Health Department had been asked to assist‚ but this did not seem likely as they had already paid R6m for the relocation of Esidimeni patients from unsuitable NGOs to proper treatment centres‚ he added.
The report says the deadline set by Justice Dikgang Moseneke for the payments is 19 June.
“I am relieved that the money has been found to pay the financial redress for Esidimeni victims‚ but it is unfortunate that it has been diverted from funds that are needed for service delivery.
“It’s the price that has to paid for the inexcusable arrogance and negligence that lead to the deaths of 144 patients in the Esidimeni disaster‚” said Bloom‚ the DA’s health spokesperson for the province.Business Day report