City of Joburg seeks alternatives as province takes over ambulance services

City of Johannesburg Joburg MMC for public safety Michael Sun says the city is still in the dark as the Gauteng provincial government prepares to take over ambulance services.

In April, the local government announced it will be pulling its subsidy and support for the city-run ambulance service, taking with it the Department of Health licence that the city was using to operate their emergency vehicles.

The city has run a service on behalf of the Gauteng provincial government for an annual fee of R130m since 2006.

Sun says the funding was already limited and the city 'laid out' much more in order to render the services to Johannesburg residents.

At the moment we are still in the dark. Our technical teams have begun to engage with the provincial officials to say that we need certain documentation - including the provincialisation plan. So we can make an informed decision.

Michael Sun, MMC for public safety - Johannesburg

He says they are looking at other alternatives.

One of our options is to go out and apply for the relevant licences and permits so that the City of Joburg can have its own licences to carry out the provision of ambulance services to residents.

Michael Sun, MMC for public safety - Johannesburg

At the moment we are not getting enough communication from the local government.

Michael Sun, MMC for public safety - Johannesburg

Sun says attempts will be made to retain staff.

We will find ways. We have done calculations on the worst-case scenario. Certainly not on our watch that we are going to leave any of our staff high and dry.

Michael Sun, MMC for public safety - Johannesburg

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