Johannesburg - The failure of a generator at a Joburg hospital was because of ageing electricity infrastructure, says the Gauteng government.

One of the five generators at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital failed to kick in on Wednesday afternoon after a power failure.

MPL Jack Bloom, the DA’s Gauteng health spokesman, said the failure affected the block with the neonatal, maternity and casualty departments, and called for an inquiry.

“There must be accountability and measures to ensure that all generators function all the time when needed,” said Bloom.

He said emergency operations were transferred to the main theatres.

“Hospital staff reacted well to alleviate the effect of the power cut, which lasted more than two hours, but were let down by the malfunctioning generator,” said Bloom.

Hospital infrastructure is maintained by the province’s Department of Infrastructure Development.

Department spokesman Thulasizwe Simelane said it wasn’t a generator failure but a general electrical reticulation weakness, which was linked to overloading of the electrical system.

“The ageing electrical infrastructure (including wiring, circuit boards and UPS) is not coping with this overloading, and the problem has been brought to the attention of the client department (health),” said Simelane.

He said the department was spending more than R400 million to upgrade electro-mechanical infrastructure in health facilities.

The Star