The Gauteng provincial government has received 200 new claims for financial compensation from families of Life Esidimeni patients who survived the botched transfer to unsuitable NGOs, the DA revealed on Sunday.
The party’s Gauteng shadow health MEC, Jack Bloom, said Thomas Masebe, the premier’s spokesperson, at a meeting last week of the Gauteng Legislature’s Oversight Committee on the Premier’s Office and Legislature, revealed this information to them.
“According to Masebe, most of these claims have been verified as being covered by the arbitration ruling made by retired Justice Dikgang Moseneke.”
He had apparently said there were “a few instances” of different family members disputing a claim, however.
Moseneke had ruled that R1 million be paid to each claimant for constitutional damages, R180,000 for emotional trauma, and R20,000 funeral expenses for those who died.
R1.2 million would therefore be paid to relatives of those who died, and R1,180,000 to the relatives of patients who survived.
Payouts to 200 further claimants would therefore cost about R236 million.
Masebe reportedly told the DA that one of the ways this would be funded would be to “top-slice all provincial government departments to pay for it, done on a proportional basis”.
“Money would also come from the adjustment budget in November this year,” said Bloom.
“So far, R159 million has been paid to claimants, which means that the total amount that will be paid that includes other expenses will be over R400 million.
“It’s a steep but necessary cost to provide redress to those who suffered, although it will affect service delivery in the province as money will be redirected from other projects.”