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Vandals rob taxpayers of R120,000 for damaging CT scanner at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital

Charlotte Maxeke hospital in Parktown, Johannesburg. Vandals have stolen a central processing unit, damaging a CT scanner that will cost the provincial government more than R100,000 to repair. Picture: Motlabana Monnakgotla

Charlotte Maxeke hospital in Parktown, Johannesburg. Vandals have stolen a central processing unit, damaging a CT scanner that will cost the provincial government more than R100,000 to repair. Picture: Motlabana Monnakgotla

Published May 11, 2022

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The Gauteng provincial government will spend nearly R120,000 to repair a CT scanner damaged after a central processing unit (CPU) was stolen from the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital.

Gauteng Health MEC Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi said the CPU was stolen from the CT scanner. Other electrical items were also damaged and stolen, resulting in an estimated loss of R87,000.

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DA member of the provincial legislature Jack Bloom told Independent Media that Mokgethi was replying to his oral questions at a sitting.

He said R118,000 would be needed to repair the CT scanner that had been vandalised, causing the delay in reopening the hospital’s accident and emergency unit, which was expected to be functional in January.

Health Minister Joe Phaahla reopened the accident and emergency unit on Monday but said there would be no walk-ins and that it would only accept the “arranged transfers of patients”.

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The hospital was gutted by a fire a year ago. The provincial government has already paid R128 million for its repair.

According to Mokgethi, the theft occurred at the construction site at the hospital, where one of the contractors was responsible for security.

"I asked the MEC why the hospital’s security was not held accountable, and she said that action was being taken against them," Bloom said.

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Bloom said it was vital that security was stepped up at the hospital as staff and patients suffer terribly when incidents of theft disrupt services.

Three people were arrested for stealing railings and cables, leading to further delays in reopening the hospital on March 14.

Last year, copper pipes worth R30m were stolen after the fire forced closure of the hospital. Almost R3m a month is spent on security at the hospital, while electronic surveillance security services cost R450,000 monthly.

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The government expects repairs to the hospital to be completed by December.

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