RELATIONSHIPS between superintendents-general in the Eastern Cape departments of Health and Finance have reached "boiling point”, says Health MEC Sicelo Gqobana.
At the centre of the clash are the finances of the Health Department, including the reported R2.5-billion deficit.
Today, top Health and Finance officials will meet to resolve differences that threaten to turn into a stalemate between Health superintendent-general Dr Siva Pillay and the Treasury’s Marion Mbina- Mthembu.
At a portfolio committee meeting on Friday, Gqobana said: "I have read their e-mails exchanging views and I have shared my observations with my counterpart, honourable [Provincial Treasury MEC Phumulo] Masualle.
"We’ll rather meet to thrash out the issues. To have a stalemate with Treasury becomes dangerous.”
Mbina-Mthembu said: "That is unknown news to me and I can’t comment further.”
But, to the committee, Pillay hinted of strained relations with the Treasury head and said there was a need to sort the differences out.
Pillay put the differences down to Treasury presenting financial figures to the cabinet budget committee without verifying the information with his department, despite an agreement to do so.
"I was on vacation when Treasury presented the figures and dropped a bombshell to say the Department of Health was R2.5- to R3-billion in the red.
Now, the portfolio committee wants the matter resolved.
Gqobana said at today’s meeting they hoped to turn things around.
But Masualle said meetings between Health and Finance were held regularly to look at challenges.
"It is not convened to resolve that matter [the potential stalemate],” he said.