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Thursday, 9 February, 2017
Quote of the week
"NGOs rocked up to Life Esidimeni [with] open bakkies. Patients were transported ‘without wheelchairs but tied with bed sheets’ to support them. Some [NGOs] chose [patients] like an ‘auction cattle market'"
- Malegapuru Makgoba
Comment of the week
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SONA 2017, Life Esidimeni, Opportunities…
As we anticipate the 2017 State of the Nation Address (SONA), the question we’re asking ourselves is, “Will anything change?”
It goes without saying that it has been a rather tumultuous 12 months for President Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma with the ruling party losing key Metros; Tshwane, Johannesburg and Nelson Mandela Bay in the 2016 Municipal Elections and Guptagate. But will President Zuma manage to reach ordinary South African citizens experiencing the effects of hiked interest rates and increased tariffs on electricity?
The SONA of 2016 put economic transformation at the top of the agenda with mentions of land reform and investment in the ocean economy.
Marianne Merten writes, “For the past few years SONA has run a fairly predictable course: words on the tough economic headwinds largely due to the 2008 global financial crisis, a run-down of government successes largely centered on the internationally praised antiretroviral treatment regimen, and a list of projects to be pursued by ministers and their departments. Will SONA 2017 be different?”
Following the Health Ombudsman’s, Malegapuru Makgoba, report on the 94 patients dying at the hands of non-licensed community-based care NGOs it is now clear that relying on NGOs to execute government work can oftentimes be problematic.
Yonela Diko writes, “my understanding had been that non-governmental organisations often give assistance to people who have been affected by social disasters and social neglect. These groups tend not to get money from governments. That’s why they are called non-governmental organisations.”
Although the Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu resigned, the systemic issues the Life Esidimeni tradegy revealed between the relationship of government and NGOs deserves further scrutiny. Have NGOs become extensions of government bodies?
Laura Lopez Gonzalez writes more about the Life Esidimeni tragedy.
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