Polokwane Municipality’s Service cutoff threatens healthcare at local facilities

The Limpopo Department of Health is worried that the provision of healthcare will be greatly disrupted unnecessarily at some of its facilities around the Polokwane municipal area. This is due to the announcement by Polokwane Municipality that it will switch off water and electricity in government buildings due to outstanding rates and taxes.

Polokwane Municipality's Service cutoff threatens healthcare at local facilities
Polokwane Municipality's Service cutoff threatens healthcare at local facilities Image credit: Limpopo health facebook page

The Limpopo Department of Health is worried that the provision of healthcare will be greatly disrupted unnecessarily at some of its facilities around the Polokwane municipal area. This is due to the announcement by Polokwane Municipality that it will switch off water and electricity in government buildings due to outstanding rates and taxes.

The department has become aware of an R53 million rates and taxes bill for Mankweng Hospital that the municipality has once again wrongly directed to the department of health.

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By law, rates and taxes are the responsibility of the property owner, while the occupying departments take care of utility costs such as water and electricity. The ownership of government property, in this instance, is in the hands of the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform. The department can confirm that its utility cost account with the municipality is up to date.

The department has in the past engaged the Polokwane Local Municipality about the need to send the bill for rates and taxes to the relevant department. The department will once again initiate the engagements in order to ensure that the municipality directs this bill to the correct department and not switch off at the hospital.

The switching off of electricity at the hospital will, unfortunately, have dire consequences that will be felt by the LDOH and the innocent poor and vulnerable and yet the Limpopo Department of Health does not have control over the payment of rates and taxes and/ or this particular debt.

Limpopo Health MEC, Dr Phophi Ramathuba, today presided over the handing over of an additional 28 new ambulances to supplement the already existing fleet at Ratshatsha Community Health Centre in the Blouberg sub-district.

The fleet forms part of our ongoing commitment to ensure a timely response to healthcare emergencies, thus saving lives. The MEC was accompanied by the Mayor of Blouberg Municipality, Cllr. Maria Thamaga and Kgoši Malebogo.