Buck stops with Theuns Botha over dispensing chaos - ANC WCape

Mcebisi Skwatsha
15 July 2012

Mcebisi Skwatsha says WCape MEC should resign over latest drug shortages

ANC says fire Botha if he does not resign

The Western Cape ANC says the DA's health MEC Theuns Botha is still running away from taking full responsibility for the medicine dispensing chaos in the province while thousands of patients' lives are at stake as several shortages and irregular availability of lifesaving chronic medication festers on (see Cape Argus report).

ANC spokesperson for health Mcebisi Skwatsha (ANC) says: "It is the third time in two years that scores of patients with life-threatening conditions are queuing in long lines, get turned away and not receive the medication they need. Repeated shortages have now become the characteristic of this DA government with Botha as the MEC of health.

"It is tantamount to gambling with the lives of hundreds of thousands of poor and ordinary state patients in the province. Insulin for diabetics, inflammatory reducing and chemotherapy treatment are again not readily available. This happens only three months after the previous bout. It infringes on the rights of patients, sentence them to possible death and inconvenience many very poor people by not giving them essential medication.

"The many excuses and blame shifting is lame. Botha is seen making statements on the closure of schools and the shortages of handbooks. He should leave the education portfolio as his own department lacks due leadership to sort out his medicine crisis. He spends too much time monitoring health in the Eastern Cape, while his department fails people. He should rather go. The Western Cape deserves better than this mayhem."

The ANC has repeated its call for Botha to resign for the widespread debacle which has inconvenienced and endangered the lives of many poor and vulnerable patients in the Western Cape. He is the political head of that department which is riddled with many cases of poor service delivery. As MEC he is the responsible person and the buck stops with him as he is accountable to the public and voters.

"If Botha does not face up to the ugly truth and without any delay does the honourable thing by resigning, premier Helen Zille should fire him.

The department is haunted in media reports for poor service delivery, a massive shortage of beds in many hospitals, the scandal of patients sleeping on floors in some hospitals, rescheduling of operations due to various problems and staff saying they are working under continued disaster conditions.

"This debacle is also highlighted in an investigation by South Africa's Public Protector Thuli Madonsela at the Gugulethu hospital where the service was found to be very poor, the place dirty and workers were found to be drunk on duty. It is a travesty that the DA-led government claims to be among the best in the world, while people are dying in queues at clinics, babies die of diarrhoea due to poor infrastructure and many suffer because of poor services," Skwatsha added.

Statement issued by Mcebisi Skwatsha, ANC Western Cape spokesperson on health, July 15 2012

Click here to sign up to receive our free daily headline email newsletter


Thousands of patients with chronic conditions, including those who have cancer, do not have their lifesaving drugs because of a shortage in the Western Cape. Essential medicines reportedly out of stock include insulin, which is used to treat diabetes, steroids to treat inflammatory conditions and certain chemotherapy drugs. Helene Rossouw, spokeswoman for Health MEC Theuns Botha, confirmed that the department was experiencing “stock-outs” of chronic medication, but denied that this included certain cancer drugs. Rossouw said the shortages originated at the national level as a result of tenders not being awarded and suppliers not being able to source drug stock for SA."
Cape Argus, July 12 2012


If you come across comments that are injurious, defamatory, profane, off-topic or inappropriate; contain personal attacks or racist, sexist, homophobic, or other slurs, please report them and they will be removed.
 responses to this article

Just cannot take this seriously ...
Mcebisi, if you were at all serious about improving delivery in SA you would have publically resigned from the ANC many moons ago. I unfortunately cannot take your cheap politics seriously considering who you represent.

by Thembalani Ciko on July 15 2012, 22:23
Find this comment inappropriate? Report it

You are an idiot. You don't have a clue how govt works. The ANC govt has failed
The country, it's Provinces and it's citizens.

by observer on July 16 2012, 07:07
Find this comment inappropriate? Report it

sick fool
People are tired of this cheap politics and misinformation. Can the ANC not get better representation at provincial level than this fool. Mcebesi really everybody is watching what you are saying and you come and speak rubbish like this. Phone your buddies . .more

by Donkervlie on July 16 2012, 08:22
Find this comment inappropriate? Report it

Mcebesi you muppet!
A glitch in the Western Cape is equivalent to the ANC's normal operation country-wide; not only in health, but in all other facets of government.
Wake up you cheap-skate.

by martin on July 16 2012, 08:44
Find this comment inappropriate? Report it

Finger pointing at DA to shift attention from ANC
Here again it is a case of pointing fingers at the DA to shift attention from serious problems in provinces run by the ANC.

The first shortages in 2010 were shortages of imported medications, and was caused by delays caused by the cancellation of . .more

by cynical on July 16 2012, 10:20
Find this comment inappropriate? Report it

See you guys managed to get 50 people to demand Grant's resignation. Seems like you are getting more unpopular by the day in the W. Cape.

by Jeff on July 16 2012, 22:07
Find this comment inappropriate? Report it

Don't know who this swatsticker twat is, but going by the comments… not well liked.

by Noonie on July 17 2012, 18:04
Find this comment inappropriate? Report it