Durban - Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) chairperson Maggie Govender says the committee is satisfied with efforts made by the KwaZulu-Natal Health Department in addressing unnecessary expenditure and finding creative ways to ensure the department functions properly.
The improvement in containing expenditure was also highlighted by DA member Edwin Baptie, who said it was an encouraging development.
Baptie also welcomed the unqualified opinion from the AG, noting that the department had attended to issues raised in the past.
The department, second to the Department of Education in size and budget allocation, has battled to contain costs in the past, and this resulted in it getting qualified audit opinions.
Govender commended the department for the improvements that have come about owing to the e-filing system for patient information and how this effort was enabling the department to operate more efficiently.
She noted that the area of asset management was also receiving attention from the department officials.
The chairperson noted how in some instances the department made use of interns to carry out some projects, and in the process imparted skills and experience to young people without spending too much money on staff costs.
Another Scopa member, Thulani Xulu, welcomed the introduction of the e-filing system and expressed hope that it would help reduce the Road Accident Fund claims.
Committee member Zinhle Cele, from the ANC, welcomed the improvement in the audit opinion, but noted the difficult conditions in which the country was operating.
Baptie said that they would raise additional concerns at the portfolio committee meeting, whose date was yet to be determined.
According to National Freedom Party MPL Mbali Shinga, the department needed commending as it was demonstrating the commitment to do things right.
Scopa members expressed their hope that in the mid-term budget the department would get more funds to enable it to carry out its projects.