Bhisho’s Health Department – Unplugged

News from the Eastern Cape:

Bhisho’s Health Department headquarters have had their telephone lines cut thanks to the department’s unpaid Telkom bill of more than R23 million

This is what the Daily Dispatch reported today. Bhisho is in the Eastern Cape, and is the administrative capital of the Eastern Cape in South Africa.

“We have no money; we are in the red and cannot pay all our creditors,” departmental spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo admitted yesterday, before adding: “All other public health facilities do have functioning telephone lines.”

Kupelo said not only did the Health Department owe Telkom R23m, they owed a further R180m to other service providers.

What’s worrying is that Telkom typically has that automated lady’s voice call when a bill is just over by a day or so requesting immediate payment, lest a lawyer be sent in after you. I wonder how often Ms Automated called the numbers in the Department of Health and left a message?

Telkom should be more consistent in their approach to these situations – the client declared themselves “R 1.8bn in the red”… perhaps they should have sent a letter?