Maverick Citizen


Budget blues – Beleaguered Eastern Cape Health Department staff asked to donate to CFO’s farewell

Budget blues – Beleaguered Eastern Cape Health Department staff asked to donate to CFO’s farewell
Branding for South Africa's health department. 30 April 2021. (Photo: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The Eastern Cape Department of Health’s chief financial officer resigned and will leave the Department on Friday. But in a heartfelt memorandum, his staff members have asked everyone working for the beleaguered department to ‘chip in’ as there is no money to organise a party for him due to ‘financial constraints’.

Eastern Cape Department of Health employees have been asked to contribute between R500 and R1,500 each for the farewell of the chief financial officer, Msulwa Daca, who has resigned.

An internal memorandum in possession of Daily Maverick states that there is no money in the budget for a party.

But the department’s spokesperson, MK Ndamase said it was not a departmental initiative and said it was important that taxpayers’ money doesn’t get used for farewell parties.

“We can confirm that after almost five years in the Eastern Cape Department of Health service, CFO Daca will be leaving to pursue his other interests.

Read more in Daily Maverick: EC health department to start new financial year with R4.8-billion in unpaid bills

“We can also confirm that his office asked for donations internally to organise a farewell party for him. This is not being organised by the department but by staff at the CFO’s office.”

The “internal memo” sent to Daily Maverick has been communicated on official Eastern Cape Department of Health stationary and is addressed to “All deputy director-generals, all general managers, all CEOs, all district managers, all senior managers, all managers and all staff members.”

Department of Health

Department of Health asks managers to pay for CFO’s farewell. (Image: Supplied)

It further states: “The Department plans to have a farewell function to appreciate his excellent performance during his five-year tenure.

“The venue was still to be determined, and the date has been set for 31 May.

“We would like to plead for donations to ensure the success of the CFO’s farewell,” the memo continues. “Due to financial constraints, the Department cannot fund this function; therefore, we request donations.”

The memo asks that the department’s acting head, senior finance managers and deputy directors-general donate R1,500 each. All senior managers are asked to pay R500 each, all managers and assistant managers R300 each and everybody else R150.

“Attached is a copy of the donation ruffle (stet) for all cash deposits. Feel free to deposit any cash…” the memo continues, adding a Capitec bank account.

Department in disarray

Daca leaves a department that is in dire financial trouble.

Read more in Daily Maverick: EC Health Department scrambles to set up new emergency numbers after not paying the phone bill

The Department started the new financial year for 2024/2025 with unpaid bills of R4.8-billion. These included the payment for crucial medical supplies, fleet services, phone bills, medicine, medical gas and municipal services for the province’s ambulances and hospital services.

The Department owed R36.5-million on its phone bill and had to implement a contingency plan earlier this year when Telkom cut off the ambulance call centres.

The Auditor General also flagged the department in November last year for “material misstatements” in its financial statements due to “significant internal control deficiencies”. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Go to hell satan says:

    I will donate a dime to those incompetent thieves

  • Kev The Famous Explorer says:

    Given the untold chaos he has left behind , he probably should have been dismissed . How on earth did the department have unpaid bills of R4,500, 000,000.00 .FFS !!!!
    One is left shaking one’s head in utter disbelief .
    Who knows, he might have resigned to be lined up for the job of CFO at the NHI ?
    God Help us

  • Martin Urry says:

    And what did Mr Daca earn? I am sure he could fund a farewell bash many times over.

  • A real shame what is happening to health care in the EC. Nolubabalo Fatyela the CEO of Zithulele hospital is under huge pressure as her medical staff have been reduced and working conditions become a threat to the doctors. Nurses went on strike yesterday to support the doctors. Hopefully there will be a resolution soon but hearing about these financial constraints it seems unlikely!

  • Agf Agf says:

    It’s not even as if he is retiring. He is resigning “to pursue other interests”. Outrageous.

  • Oom Dugk says:

    Sounds like a story made for April Fools day…

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