AfriForum lays charges over R23 million wasted by Western Cape Department of Health

AfriForum laid criminal charges today against Dr Beth Engelbrecht, Head of the Western Cape Department of Health, as part of the organisation’s national campaign against the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill. This follows the organisation studying the Department’s annual report and finding that Engelbrecht is guilty of offences in terms of Section 86(1) of the Public Finance Management Act, 1999 (Act No 1 of 1999).

AfriForum will visit all nine provinces between 18 and 22 November 2019, during which criminal charges will be laid against the heads of each provincial Department of Health.

“The squandering of taxpayers’ money is a national crisis and the responsible parties should be brought to book. That is why we laid these charges today. This misappropriation of funds is one of the main reasons why we cannot rely on the government to implement NHI: They have shown that they cannot be trusted with taxpayers’ money,” says Deon de Jager, AfriForum’s District Coordinator for Boland.

The Western Cape Department of Health’s annual report indicates that this Department incurred irregular expenditures of more than R23 million in the 2017/2018 financial year.

Irregular expenditures comprise all expenses that are inconsistent with what the Act prescribes. This expenditure could have been prevented, had Engelbrecht fulfilled her duties.

“The charges against the department heads are based on alleged financial misappropriation in terms of the above-mentioned Act. They must prevent irregular, fruitless, wasteful and unauthorised expenditures and must hold guilty parties accountable. The department heads are letting taxpayers down by failing to fulfil their duties,” De Jager concludes.

AfriForum encourages the public to oppose the NHI by giving AfriForum their mandate and submitting their comments on the NHI on AfriForum’s website at  https://afriforum.co.za/en/divisions/campaigns/national-health-insurance/.

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