21 April 2019


DA statement on scrapping of state ambulances misguided

by: Ngwako Motsieng   date: 06 july 2018

The Democratic Alliance’s (DA) call for the Department of Health to sell off scrap ambulances to boost its coffers is misleading to the public and shows just how the opposition party is lacking in understanding how government works. So says Bokone Bophirima’s Health MEC, Dr Magome Masike. 

The MEC said this is because even if those ambulances - currently kept at a depot in Vryburg - were to be sold, the money wouldn’t come to the Health Department, but would instead be directed to the provincial Treasury. 

“The DA wants to govern but have no understanding of government processes. While the DA claim that the department could have used the money from auctioning of scrapped ambulances to buy new ones, the DA fails to understand that the money collected from disposed scrap ambulances does not even come to the Department of Health. 

“All monies collected from disposed government vehicles, including ambulances, go to Treasury and not the Department of Health. Scrapped ambulances and vehicles have no impact whatsoever on purchasing of new ones,” explained MEC Masike.

The MEC further stated that scrapped ambulances did not belong to the Department of Health, but to the Department of Community Safety and Transport Management, just like all state vehicles in the province. 

“All auctions are therefore conducted by the Department of Community Safety and Transport. Auctions are planned. Before conducting auctions, the Department of Community Safety and Transport Management makes sure they have sufficient vehicles,” Masike added.

The MEC said while the department accepts there have been challenges in emergency medical rescue services, it is equally important to point to the commitment that the department has demonstrated towards resolving the challenges. 

The department has recently revised the scope of work of the contracted private ambulance service providers, Buthelezi EMS and High Care EMS following the purchase and subsequent registration of 40 new ambulances.

The 40 new ambulances are expected to improve the response time during emergencies. Plans are at an advanced stage to implement communication systems and monitoring mechanisms, which will further improve the response time.