Second reading debate on the Emergency Funds bill | Western Cape Government



Second reading debate on the Emergency Funds bill

31 August 2017

Second reading debate on the Emergency Funds bill


Honorable Premier

Madam Speaker

Members of this house

Members of the media

A very good afternoon to you all.

Minister Meyer has already alluded to the fact that my Department, the Western Cape Department of Health received emergency funds to the amount of Nineteen Million four hundred and sixty thousand rands (R19, 460,000) for disaster emergencies.

Thank you Minister for understanding that Health requires a lot more than what we receive.

Despite Health having the biggest slice of the budget, supply still does not meet the demand. The Department is faced with a growing population and a complex disease profile where people have quadruple diseases which lead to service pressures in our facilities.

Madam Speaker, as if the service pressures were not enough, this year we witnessed fire-related disasters and storms affecting our facilities more so in both Malmesbury and Knysna.


In March 2017, the Swartland Hospital caught fire and some parts of the hospital were burnt down, namely;

  • Wards A and B
  • Emergency Centre
  • Operating theatre
  • Central Sterilisation Service Department (CSSD)
  • X-ray room
  • Main kitchen


The impact of the fire has had far reaching effects, not only on the hospital itself, but also on the other facilities in the region which have had to absorb some of the services previously delivered by the hospital.  Those facilities are

  • Stellenbosch Hospital
  • Paarl Hospital
  • Wesfleur Hospital in Atlantis,
  • LAPA Munnik Hospital in Porterville
  • Radie Kotze Hospital in Piketberg
  • Vredenburg Hospital

The Malmesbury Community Day Centre (CDC) was used as a temporary emergency centre for all local medical emergencies.

Madam Speaker, the situation is unsustainable and needs to be rectified as soon as possible. That is why the majority of the funds which is Eighteen million two hundred and sixty thousand (R18, 260, 000) has been allocated to rebuild the wards that were affected by the fire.

The funds will be spent to ensure that the service at the hospital return to full operation. And that includes;

  • Design and construction of two prefabricated buildings (24 beds each)
  • Conversion of the Nurses’ Home into Outpatient Department, X-Ray, and Administration block (first floor)
  • Conversion of current Administration in minor theatre and CSSD
  • Re-establishment of EC via the construction of a pre-fab in the place of the existing building destroyed by the fire
  • Demolition of the fire damaged area


Although we have these short- term goals to ensure that we continue to provide uninterrupted services to our clients, based on our Healthcare 2030 plan and the Rural Acute Hospital Plan the Swartland Hospital is earmarked for replacement. The plan is to relocate the hospital to a more accessible and functional area of the town.

We will increase the bed numbers to 130 (from the current 85) due to the growth of the population in that area.

Another reason for relocating the new hospital is because it has been identified as a heritage site having opened its doors in 1915 and is now 102 years old.

For that reason the current hospital building will be kept in part for other health service functions (currently on site), including, the District Office, EMS base, and Forensic Pathology Laboratory while the other parts will be disposed.

The replacement of the hospital is estimated at R118 million and a request for funding has been submitted to NDoH.

The Department is busy putting together a business case that will be submitted to the National Department of Health applying for funds to build the new hospital.

The rest of the funds which equals to R1.2 million (R1, 2 00000) will be spent on the facilities that were affected by fires and storm damage across the province.

As we may all know the Knysna hospital in the Eden district was greatly affected by the fires that occurred in that district that left many residents without homes.

Even though our Provincial Hospital did not catch fire, but it was severely affected by the smoke. That is why we have allocated R731 000 to clear the smoke and soot.

Madam speaker, the Metro and some parts of the Province experienced the greatest storms in June and that also affected some of our facilities.

And these are the facilities that have been affected and this is where the R1.2 million will be spent:

In Eden District: R806, 000 was allocated for two facilities including Knysna Hospital; in the Cape Winelands District, R10 000 is allocated for one facility, in the Metro R344 000 was allocated for nine facilities, and lastly in Overberg R40 000 is allocated for one facility.  

I would like to thank the Provincial treasury for the funds, as you can see they will be put into good use for the service of our client. I would also like to thank my staff for their hard work in ensuring that, services are delivered regardless of the disasters.

Our total budget for the 2017/18 financial year inclusive of these emergency funds is R21,699 266 000.

Thank you

Media Enquiries: 

Zimkhitha Mquteni

Spokesperson to the Western Cape Minister of Health, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo

Mobile: 078 0534451

Tel: 021 483 5862


Western Cape Government: Health