Cape Town – Western Cape Premier Alan Winde was scathing in his criticism of Finance Minister Tito Mboweni continuing to pour billions of taxpayer rands into SAA – which negatively impacted the budgets of healthcare services, among others.
’’Perhaps Minister Mboweni’s blatant lies about how our world-class hospitals operate were meant to obscure the fact that he was defunding key healthcare services in the province in the midst of a pandemic in favour of serving ‘chicken or beef’ in the sky,“ Winde said in a statement on Wednesday after Mboweni had delivered his medium-term budget policy statement.
He also lashed Mboweni for not ’’making the tough choices that this big moment in our country required’’.
’’To fund this R10.5 billion (SAA) bailout, Minister Mboweni has slashed national departments’ budgets, including that of the police, as well as provincial budgets.
’’In the Western Cape, the budget cuts will directly impact healthcare services, as well as reduce agricultural grants which are aimed at food security and land transformation and which advance dignity through property ownership.
‘’As Minister David Maynier set out, the province has now lost over R60 million in key healthcare grant funding including: R19.72 million from our HIV, TB, Malaria and Community Outreach Grant; R30 million from the grant that is critical to maintaining and developing healthcare services at tertiary hospitals in the province; and R11 million from a grant aimed at improving clinical training and supervision of health science trainees and increasing the capacity of our healthcare workforce in the Western Cape.
As of 1pm on 28 October, the Western Cape had 3122 active Covid-19 infections, with a total of 115 431 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 107 958 recoveries, Winde said.