File picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency/ANA.

JOHANNESBURG - The Gauteng provincial government has received 200 new claims for financial compensation from families of Life Esidimeni patients who survived the botched transfer to unsuitable NGOs, Democratic Alliance MPL Jack Bloom said on Sunday.

This was revealed by Thomas Masebe, the premier’s spokesperson, at a meeting last week of the Gauteng legislature’s oversight committee on the premier’s office and legislature, he said.

According to Masebe, most of these claims had been verified as being covered by the arbitration ruling made by Justice Dikgang Moseneke. Masebe said there had been “a few instances” of different family members disputing a claim, Bloom said.

Moseneke ruled that R1 million be paid to each claimant for constitutional damages, R180,000 for emotional trauma and R20 000 funeral expenses for those who died. 

This meant that R1.2 million would be paid to relatives of those who died and R1 180 000 to relatives of patients who survived. Payouts to 200 claimants would cost about R236 million.

"Masebe said that one of the ways that this would be funded would be to top-slice all provincial government departments to pay for it, done on a proportional basis. Money would also come from the adjustment budget in November this year.

"So far, R159 million has been paid to claimants, which means that the total amount that will be paid that includes other expenses will be over R400 million. It’s a steep but necessary cost to provide redress to those who suffered, although it will affect service delivery in the province as money will be redirected from other projects," Bloom said.

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African News Agency (ANA)