The Democratic Alliance welcomes the partial financial settlement that has been reached for the families of those who died in the Life Esidimeni tragedy.
According to an agreement between the State and Section 27 and Solidarity, who represent more than 70 families, they will each receive R200 000 for funeral costs and emotional trauma.
The final decision will be made by retired deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke who heads the arbitration hearings and it is expected that more money will be awarded for constitutional damages.
An agreement has not yet been reached for those families represented by Legal Aid.
It is likely that the state will pay considerably more than R20 million in full financial settlement to all the families.
This should come from a special Treasury allocation rather than the hard-pressed Health budget as this would prejudice the care of state patients.
While no amount of money can compensate for a life that has been lost, it is a necessary form of redress for those harmed by state neglect.
An appropriate memorial for those who died should also be considered.
I hope that the lessons of the Esidimeni tragedy are heeded by all state agencies so that human life is always respected and dignified.