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Gauteng's public hospitals are in crisis after suppliers of food and medical necessities cut off deliveries because of non-payment .
Some are facing water and electricity cuts because municipal bills have not been settled.
The Mail & Guardian is in possession of letters written by desperate hospital staff to Gauteng's health department pleading for funds because they have run into life-threatening shortages.
For the first time this week the Gauteng government acknowledged "delays in the payment of contractors" by South Africa's richest province. Earlier officials had denied chronic payment delays and accused opposition parties who raised the issue of "cheap politicking".
The M&G revealed last week that Gauteng building contractors constructing low-cost houses have not been paid for weeks and some face insolvency.