On the first of her two-day visit in KwaZulu-Natal, Deputy Public Protector Advocate Kholeka Gcaleka inspected facilities at the Nokweja High School in KaNokweja outside Ixopo on Tuesday.
Gcaleka was accompanied by her team of investigators and chief operations officer Charles Mohlaba to the school. The school’s facilities appear to be in a bad state with no ceiling in one of the classrooms.
She has been conducting inspections in various provinces to determine the challenges that staff, public and pupils face regarding the provision of services amid the Covid-19 pandemic since August.
According to the public protector’s office, the focus is on the inspection of hospitals reserved, upgraded or capacitated specifically for the treatment of Covid-19 patients and schools.
Gcaleka has already visited hospitals in Eastern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
During her Eastern Cape visit, Gcaleka described conditions in the province’s overwhelmed public hospitals as “depressing”.
Following the last leg of her visit, Gcaleka said that Mthatha General Hospital, which functions as a district and regional facility, was under-resourced.
She said management complained that the provincial health department gave more support to the neighbouring Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital.
The deputy further said there was leadership instability at the hospital, with many senior positions left vacant. “A lot of people in senior positions are acting, there are no permanent appointments,” she said.
She described how patients went for days sleeping on beds with stained linen or without it as the laundry facility was overwhelmed.
Complied by Molefe Seeletsa. Additional reporting from News24 Wire.