The Limpopo Department of Health have raised concerns over the decision by the Polokwane Municipality to switching off electricity supply at the department.  

On Monday, the Polokwane Municipality embarked on an operation to switch off the electricity supply. The operation affected more than 10 government departments in the province. 

Also read: Polokwane Municipality switches off government departments

This comes after their respective departments’ failure to pay their electricity bills. It amounts to a total of R253 032 389.54 in basic service. The health department was also affected. 

Department of health raises concern 

But in a statement late on Monday, the department insists the R 53 million owed is alagdeley misdirected. 

“The Limpopo Department of Health is worried that the provision of healthcare will be significantly disrupted unnecessarily at some of its facilities around the Polokwane municipal area,” read the statement. 

“The department has become aware of an R53 million rates and taxes bill for Mankweng Hospital. That the municipality has once again wrongly directed to the department. By law, rates and taxes are the responsibility of the property owner. While the occupying departments take care of utility costs such as water and electricity. 

Also read: Polokwane announce 8 hour electricity supply interruption

“The ownership of government property in this instance is in the hands of the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, and Land Reform. The department can confirm that its utility cost account with the municipality is current.  

The department has in the past engaged the Polokwane Local Municipality about the need to send the bill for rates and taxes to the relevant department,” they explained.

“We will once again initiate the engagements. To ensure that the municipality directs this bill to the correct department and not switch off at the hospital.”

Dire consequences for switching off electricity supply

“The switching off of electricity at the hospital will, unfortunately, have dire consequences that will be felt by the LDOH. The innocent poor and vulnerable. Yet the Limpopo Department of Health does not have control over the payment of rates and taxes and/ or this particular debt,” concluded a statement from the department.