Today in Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Health, Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, said that he cannot release the latest statistics on Listeria-related cases or deaths because he has not yet met with stakeholders due to "events in government and Parliament".
The DA has repeatedly asked for an update on this crisis and has been met with silence. It clear that the reason for his silence is that he has no answers.
The Minister confirmed that these vital meetings on the outbreak were postponed due to "events in government and Parliament" in the run-up to SONA and former President Zuma's refusal to step down.
Essentially the Minister was playing politics while our country is in the grips of the world's largest Listeriosis outbreak.
Currently, there are 872 reported cases of Listeriosis across the country, and more than 160 people have lost their lives. According to reports, 57 people lost their lives last week alone.
Time is running out and Minister Motsoaledi must immediately address the nation and present the public with crucial information regarding Listeriosis. To date we still do not know the source of the deadly Listeria bacteria, nor do we have any clarity on the Department's plans to combat the outbreak and inform citizens on preventative measures.
This outbreak has far-reaching consequences across various sectors, including the food and agriculture sectors. It is simply not good enough to sit by and wait for this crisis to solve itself.
We need strong and decisive leadership from the Minster. Services to our people cannot come to a halt purely because of political uncertainty in certain parties.
Patricia Kopane MP
DA Shadow Minister of Health