Lynne Altenroxel The Star, 9 September 2002
There is still no certainty over the future of the R720-million allocated to KwaZulu Natal by an AIDS fund.
Four months have passed since the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria approved the donation, provoking the anger of Health Minister Dr Manto Tshabalala-Msimang.
She met the fund's executive director, Dr Richard Feachem, in Geneva on Friday to discuss her opposition to the allocation of the money to KwaZulu Natal.
But they failed to resolve the fight that has raged over the donation. A joint statement issued after the long-awaited meeting simply said: Both parties reaffirmed their commitment to work together closely to ensure the success of the Global Fund and to work tirelessly to find solutions to all outstanding issues relating to the implementation of these proposals.
The fund approved two lots of money for South Africa: $93-million (about R970-million) to the national government for prevention programmes, including more money for loveLife; and, $72-million (about R750-million) to KwaZulu Natal for a programme which, unlike the national proposal, includes the provision of antiretrovirals.
Tshabalala-Msimang is insisting that the KwaZulu-Natal portion should be distributed equitably among all nine provinces, but the Global Fund's rules stipulate that donations can be used only for projects approved.
The latest statement said both parties had agreed to keep the public informed about the progress of negotiations, but not to conduct these discussions via the media.
It was agreed that Dr Tshabalala-Msimang would consult further on the KwaZulu-Natal proposal with the SA AIDS Council and relevant stakeholders in KwaZulu-Natal, and advise the Global Fund secretariat on how to proceed with the implementation of the proposal, the statement said.
Meanwhile Gauteng has announced it will apply for money from the Global Fund during the next round of submissions, which closes on September 27.
(Lynne Altenroxel: The Star, 9 September 2002 )