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Creecy discredits Health Dept’s claims in Esidimeni hearings

The Gauteng Health Department has claimed it stopped working with the health group because of fiscal pressure.

Gauteng Finance MEC Barbara Creecy testifies at the Esidimeni arbitration hearing in Johannesburg on 30 January 2018. Picture: Masego Rahlaga/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Finance MEC Barbara Creecy has discredited the provincial Health Department’s assertions that it terminated its contract with the Life Esidimeni group, saying there was absolutely no pressure to cut down on core services.

Creecy is testifying at the arbitration hearings.

The department has claimed that it stopped working with the health group because of fiscal pressure, although it’s since emerged that government actually ended up spending more on mental healthcare services.

Creecy says that health is a core service and both Treasury and the Auditor-General’s office never ordered the Health Department to cut down costs towards mental healthcare.

Creecy says the department was asked to cut down on credit cards and other luxury items, but this never happened.

The Finance MEC says that each department decides on its own how much money should be allocated to various projects, and the person who is legally bound to oversee the funds is the head of department.

WATCH LIVE: Gauteng Finance MEC Creecy testifies at Esidimeni hearing

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)