EASTERN Cape Health Department boss Siva Pillay will remain at the helm of the provincial authority despite his offer to resign.
It is the third time this year Pillay has indicated his willingness to leave the department.
Pillay said he was "staying at the department as the problems have been sorted out”.
"But I will never compromise my ethics or beliefs. If something is not right, I will go,” he said.
Asked why he wanted to resign, the superintendent-general refused to give any details.
However, it is believed the health boss handed in his third resignation letter this year because of a power struggle with MEC Sicelo Gqobana and a political attempt to break up the Multi Agency Work Group (MAWG) .
But Gqobana yesterday denied there was a power struggle between Pillay and himself.
"What power struggle? I don’t know anything about this. Pillay is not even a politician so why would we struggle?” the MEC asked.
MAWG is a new hi-tech, anti-corruption task force set up in the health department to combat fraud, extortion and profiteering. Pillay was instrumental in starting the MAWG and the task team is being used as a national pilot project.
The former MP offered to resign on June 2 and the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsaoledi, was forced to intervene to halt Pillay’s departure.
An agreement was then reached between Pillay, premier Noxolo Kiviet and Gqobana.
"I can’t go into specific details but we have decided to work together, especially since the section 18(2),” Pillay said.
The Eastern Cape government announced the partial implementation of the Public Finance Management Act late last month.
"The department or myself have not been stripped of any powers. Instead, we are going to work together to turn the department around.”
Pillay said the "partial” takeover included:
- The provincial Treasury managing all procurement tenders put out by the MAWG;
- The department’s organogram being revised;
- The office of the premier managing the department’s HR staff in order to improve record-keeping;
- Healthcare staff being equally distributed across the province;
- An official from the provincial Treasury assisting the supply chain management unit;
- The department’s disciplinary process being revamped; and
- Advertising all the vacant, senior posts in the department.
Pillay said he welcomed the intervention, which the department had asked for more than a year ago.
"All these interventions are going to assist the department to turn around the department.”
He said officials, including himself, were not being realistic about the approach to the department’s turnaround strategy.
"We are [now] looking at the bigger picture ... At this moment it is looking promising,” he said.