TAC calls on ANC and DA to appoint only committed and qualified Ministers and MECs

The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) congratulates the African National Congress (ANC) with their victory in the national election and in eight of our nine provinces. We also congratulate the Democratic Alliance (DA) with their victory in the Western Cape.

The TAC looks forward to working with the ANC, DA and all other parties who were elected to national and provincial legislatures in improving the quality of healthcare available to all people living in South Africa. While the election might now be over, the democratic process must continue. To this end we will continue to hold particularly the ANC and DA to account.

The most urgent issue of concern is the appointment of new ministers and MECs for Health. While the Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi has shown good leadership, the same cannot be said for many provincial MECs for Health. MECs like Benny Malakoane in the Free State and Sicelo Gqobana in the Eastern Cape have not shown the required commitment and competence to deal with the serious challenges facing their provincial health systems. The reappointment of these MECs will indicate an indifference toward the difficulties faced by many users of the public healthcare system.

In the 'People's Health Manifesto' we asked political parties, "Do you commit to only appointing appropriately qualified and committed persons as MECs for Health?" The ANC responded "It will continue to be the practice of the ANC in all provinces to appoint appropriately qualified, competent and committed persons as MECs of Health." To the same question the DA simply answered "yes".

We will be watching very carefully who the ANC and DA appoints in the coming weeks. If inappropriate appointments are made, we will be critical of such appointments. We cannot allow cadre-deployment or political favours to take precedence over the healthcare needs of the people.

For media comment contact Anele Yawa on 073 555 8849