NEWS & ANALYSIS

Life Esidimeni claims settled – Gauteng Exco

Council also receives a preliminary report on the implementation of the Rapid Land Release Programme

Statement on the outcomes of the meeting of the Gauteng Executive Council  

13 June 2018

The Gauteng Executive Council (EXCO) held its ordinary meeting in Johannesburg on Wednesday, 13 June 2018. The meeting discussed various issues concerning the work of government in Gauteng including progress made in relation to the Implementation of the Life Esidimeni Arbitration Award; contracts with Auditing and Consulting firms implicated in unethical practices, the Rapid Land Release Programme as well as the Intervention Plan for the Emfuleni Local Municipality.

Key Decisions:

Implementation of the Life Esidimeni Arbitration Award

The EXCO noted that the Gauteng Government has settled all financial claims in compliance with the award given by retired Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke, following the Alternative Dispute Resolution process entered into with the families affected by the Life Esidimeni tragedy.

Justice Moseneke on 19 March 2018 ordered government to pay financial compensation to the claimants who were part of the Alternative Dispute Resolution process representing the families affected by the Life Esidimeni tragedy.

The Office of the Premier paid a total sum of R159 460 000.00 to all the 134 claimants who were part of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Process.  All payments were concluded by 13 June 2018, ahead of the deadline of 19 June 2018 set by Justice Moseneke.

Government and the affected families entered into an Alternative Dispute Resolution process as recommended by the Health Ombud, Professor Malegapuru Makgoba following his investigation into the circumstances that led to the Life Esidimeni tragedy.

Government will, under the leadership of the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi and Gauteng Premier David Makhura, continue to implement measures in compliance with the Health Ombud’s recommendations and Justice Moseneke’s Award. 

Contracts with Auditing Firms facing allegations of misconduct

The Executive Council received a report on the review of contracts the Gauteng Provincial Government has entered into with KPMG, SAP and Mckinsey.  The review was instituted following  serious allegations of unethical conduct made against these companies.

The Executive Council noted ongoing investigations by  state agencies and regulatory institutions on the conduct of these companies, expressed serious concerns about possible negative impact of alleged unethical behaviour on the work of the Gauteng Provincial Government. `

With regards to KPGM, the Executive Council decided that it was based on the latest developments, among others, the VBS matter and the Auditor General’s decision to terminate all contacts with KPMG, the Gauteng Provincial Government should terminate all contracts with KPMG with immediate effect.

With regards to SAP, which currently is the sole service  provider for the Gauteng Provincial Government,  the Executive Council noted that the company had taken steps to address the allegations of unethical behaviour levelled against its South Africa branch. The current contract SAP will expire in November 2018. The Executive Council mandated the Provincial Treasury to continue monitoring SAP and seek National Treasury’s guidance on the way-forward.

On Mckinsey, the Executive Council was not convinced that the company had adequately addressed the concerns raised following the allegations of unethical practice.  The Executive Council has decided that the Gauteng Provincial Government will henceforth stop contracting McKinsey for its services.

Rapid Land Release Programme

The Executive Council received a preliminary report on the implementation of the Rapid Land Release Programme. This programme is aimed at accelerating a comprehensive government wide response to the historic problem of land injustice in South Africa and to address the pressing problem of land hunger in urban areas.

The Executive Council emphasized that the Rapid Land Release programme must form part of deliberate efforts to build an asset base for those who were previously excluded from the mainstream of the economy and society.

It was decided that a sector wide Gauteng Land Summit be convened as soon as possible.  

Intervention at Emfuleni Local Municipality

The Emfuleni Local Municipality is currently experiencing Financial, Governance and Service Delivery challenges.

The Provincial Executive Council decided to institute a comprehensive intervention plan in line with Section 139 (1)(b)(i) and 139(5)(a) of the Constitution in order to ensure minimum standards of service delivery to communities and ensure financial viability of the Municipality.

The Executive Council also approved an intervention plan focusing on Financial Management and Viability; Basic Service and Urban Management; Governance and Institutional Management; and Stakeholder Management. The service delivery intervention will be over a period of 12 months and the financial recovery intervention will implemented over a period of 6 months.

Issued by Thabo Masebe, Spokesperson for Gauteng Provincial Government, 13 June 2018