Through the Lens of Life Esidimeni
Transforming the ‘state’ should not be limited to a focus on the executive as a key site of decision-making power. It must also encompass the public service – the bureaucracy that interfaces with the public and gives meaning to the notion of a responsive state as it assists, at an operational level, to deliver services to the most vulnerable sectors of society.
Using the case of Life Esidimeni as a study, the discussion will focus on identifying the shortcomings in governance at provincial level (i.e. what enabled this to happen) and identify measures that should be taken to prevent a tragedy such as this from happening again — including not only internal institutional reforms but also what civil society can do to prevent this.
“The Life Esidimeni tragedy exposed deep institutional problems within Gauteng public health system. Serious governance failures compromised the quality of care of millions of people who depend on government … especially the poor and most vulnerable.” —Gauteng Premier David Makhura