The City of Tshwane says it is unhappy with the Gauteng Health department over its application for full operating emergency medical services licenses.
The Health department once again extended the city’s temporary license which would have expired on Thursday, putting on hold its application.
The issuing of ambulance licenses to the City of Tshwane has been a long-standing dispute resulting in the grounding of 80 emergency vehicles and staff for two weeks in March. Emergency calls were being diverted to the provincial emergency services call centre.
This after the Health department failed to renew the licenses which expired in January. Community Safety and Emergency Services MMC Karen Meyer has criticised the decision to put the application on hold, especially during a pandemic.
“Just for 2 months, March and April we serviced 2 500 residents in our city, we have a service to render, and we also are extremely committed to supplying service as we bought four very highly specialised ambulances to assist us in doing this work in the recent events. However, we are still anticipating the province to give us a full-time operating license,” says Meyer.
Gauteng Health previously accused the metro of wanting a private entity to take over the services. The city has denied the allegations.
Meyer says while they welcome the temporary relief, they remain unsatisfied by their application being placed on hold without clarity.
“They do not indicate exactly what the hold-up is, and we would like to clarify that because the documents that we submitted, just to give you an indication, we submitted six thick files and they asked for some additional information which we supplied and paid the registration fee which amounts to R90 000. If there’s uncertainty from their side, they need to clarify it with us and explain exactly what they need more from us,” says Meyer.
The Health department in Gauteng previously indicated its plans to take over services from municipalities. Attempts to get a response from the department were unsuccessful.
Spokesperson, Kwara Kekana said she was still waiting for information from the responsible unit.