Premier David Makhura says they have been working closely with the families of the Life Esidimeni tragedy to ensure Health Ombudsman Malegapuru Makgoba’s remedial actions are fully implemented.
Makhura appealed to all political leaders to honour the wishes of the bereaved families who asked that the tragedy not be turned into a football match for political gains.
“As the premier, I have expressed my sympathy and I want to reiterate my commitment to the families that I will make sure that all families are happy about how this tragedy will be handled.
“The provincial government would never have approved decisions taken to outsource mentally ill patients to NGOs whether they are operating legally or not,” Makhura said.
He said he had already emphasised to several MECs to ensure no service delivery was compromised before entering into contracts with service providers. He said the department of health should have placed all mentally ill patients who had died in public health facilities.
“I’m deeply aggrieved by how those responsible have been trying to hide all the facts from me and the health minister,” Makhura said.
He said they would continue to work very closely with the bereaved families, saying a lasting monument in honour of the deceased would be erected.
While Makhura was speaking, voices saying “You must resign,” particularly from EFF members, could be heard.
Makhura continued with his speech, saying he was determined to lead a mission over the next two years so that the Life Esidimeni tragedy can never happen again.
Reporting back on the work done on improving the province’s economy, Makhura said more than 317 000 new jobs had been created since 2015.
Makhura said the employment gains were significant but not enough to turn the tide on unemployment.
He said more than 600 000 jobs need to be created over a period of two years to begin to deal with the worrying unemployment challenges.
“We have been talking with industry leaders to find out what are the challenges experienced in addressing the issue of unemployment.
“The new future-oriented economy is taking place in Gauteng already,” Makhura said.
He said Gauteng’s ability to attract foreign investment remained unparalleled, saying the province receives more than 40 per cent of foreign tourists, which is the largest in the country.