NATIONAL NEWS - Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has lamented instances of murder, attempted rape and patients assaulting staff at healthcare facilities.
In a podcast, Mkhize said the situation had been “very distressing”.
“These have been very, very distressing situations for all of us and we had meetings where we had to then ask [police] for a strategy to try and look at ways we can tighten the security,” he said, adding that hospital management had been tasked with dealing with basic issues of security.
The minister also said corruption during the Covid-19 pandemic was a distraction and he has urged South Africans to take a stand against this conduct and fight to uproot it.
The minister said his department had been working closely with the auditor-general of South Africa to look at the risk factors across the country.
“There is a process of auditing that is going on to find out when things haven’t really been done properly,” he said, adding that it was important to strengthen the department’s supply chain processes and “proper administration”.
The minister added that his department had to collaborate and cooperate with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), the police and all law enforcement agencies to ensure cases of corruption and other crimes “are uncovered”.
“As long as we make sure there are very strong measures for checks and balances and quick consequence management and investigation on such cases, we’ll always be able to prevail over corruption because corruption will always rise when administrative weakness are identified,” Mkhize said.
Safety at work was a very serious concern, Mkhize said, adding that there were several cases of people getting hurt at work.
“Now the real area where we’ve really had a problem were those who succumbed from the criminal activities which is linked to the poor conditions and poor security situations around the hospitals,” Mkhize said.