Please find attached soundbite by Michele Clarke MP.
The DA has written to the Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla, to request his urgent intervention in the dire effect the most recent bout of rolling blackouts have on the already overburdened public health sector.
Given the Department of Health’s statement in July this year that only 70% of hospitals and clinics have generators, the increased pressure on the energy grid risks the health and well-being of poor and vulnerable South Africans – nearly 84% of whom are dependent on the public health sector according to the latest census numbers.
International studies on the impact of blackouts on mortality rates show an alarming increase, and given the current dismal state of affairs at most hospitals and clinics across the country the Minister must confide his plans to address the situation.
The DA expects answers on:
- Which public health facilities have been equipped with generators;
- The cost of fuel for each of these generators since January 2022; and
- When the hospitals and clinics without generators will be equipped?
The Minister cannot wait on Eskom for a remedy that might never realise. In fact, the Health Department must surely have contingencies in place given the decade-long battle with loadshedding. Perpetual blackouts do not just decimate the economy. It puts the health and lives of South Africans at severe risk.