The Democratic Alliance (DA) has expressed shock and concern over Gauteng Health and Wellness MEC, Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko’s announcement that several of the province’s public hospitals don’t have valid fire clearance certificates.
In a written reply to the DA’s questions in the Gauteng legislature on Monday, she revealed that many hospitals do not have adequate fire detection systems or emergency exit floor plans.
Gauteng Shadow Health MEC Jack Bloom says, “I was shocked to find out that only two of the 37 hospitals have fire clearance certificates. Some of them have been inspected by the local authority and they haven’t met requirements. It is obviously an ever-present risk and we have had virtually one fire a year at our hospitals over the last few years.”
Bloom says there needs to be an urgent intervention to address the situation.
“Local authorities are supposed to do annual inspections of these hospitals which don’t always happen. So, I think there is failure at a number of levels and that is why there is a fire hazard at just about all our hospitals. We have seen how devastating that can be at the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital.”
The audio file below is is the full interview: