The Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma says the aim of the recently published National State of Disaster regulations relating to the electricity crisis is ensure that emergency procurement policies are not abused.
Most opposition parties in Parliament criticised the government for declaring the National State of Disaster when they participated in a debate on the implications of the decision on Thursday.
Dlamini-Zuma has told the media in Pretoria that measures have been taken to ensure that the emergency procurement policies are strictly followed .
She says, “The Auditor General will do real time auditing, but also we said that the accounting office will have to report to report to parliament if they’ve used the emergency procurement according to the regulations every month if they’ve used these regulations for procurement so that we don’t have anyone abusing these regulations.”
At the same media briefing the Health Minister Joe Phaahla said he hoped to the process of exempting hospitals from rolling blackouts will be fast-tracked under the National State of Disaster.
This follows calls for intervention as hospitals across the country are unable to help patients in critical condition during rolling blackouts.
The Health Department announced last year that the country’s leading hospitals would be exempted from rolling blackouts.
Phaahla says exempting hospitals should be made a priority.
He says, “We are really looking forward to being assisted through this state of disaster declaration. We have been working with Eskom to look at the expanding the number of facilities which can be exempted. Forty six out of the 137 remaining falls directly to Eskom supply line and 91 out of those are under municipalities. So we are looking forward to the disaster process being speeded up because at the current moment our institutions are struggling. The generators which are there in the hospitals are not meant to drive supply of electricity for prolonged hours.”