The FF Plus has noted with concern that Prof Malegapuru Makgoba has been appointed as Eskom's interim chairperson. Prof Makgoba was still filling the position of Health ombudsman with the last session of the Portfolio Committee for Health in October 2019.
The party does not only feel concerned because Prof Makgoba's departure will leave a gap in Health, but also because the party feels that his appointment at Eskom will not be of any value when it comes to solving Eskom's problems.
Prof Makgoba proved to be an excellent Health ombudsman with the key role he played in handling the Life Esidimeni tragedy. There is, however, a vast difference between the medical world and the enormous problems that Eskom is currently faced with. The FF Plus is of the opinion that these two fields are too far removed from one another.
Prof Makgoba complained during the session of the Portfolio Committee for Health in October 2019 that the government offers his office almost no support and that they have to make do with just him and a secretary.
During the session, Prof Makgoba also explained how effective and large the offices of the ombudsmen in Britain and America are.
The FF Plus responded by saying that the party hopes that the ombudsman's resources will be increased so that his office can effectively investigate and address all the medical complaints streaming in from the public.
The FF Plus wants to see that a new ombudsman for Health is appointed as soon as possible – someone with the same level of medical knowledge as Prof Makgoba. The party also wants to see more support for the office of the ombudsman.
It would have been better to retain Prof Makgoba as Health ombudsman, instead of appointing him at Eskom, because his knowledge and talents are of immeasurable value to the health sector where there are extensive crises to handle in the country's hospitals as a result of medical negligence.