The South African Human Rights Commission says the psychiatric unit at the George Mukhari Hospital in GaRankuwa, north of Pretoria, is not in dire straits.

SAHRC Provincial Manager, Baung Jones, and his team did an inspection of the unit on Tuesday after complaints by the Public Service Association about overcrowding at the facility, contractors refurbishing the unit while the patients are still there and bad conditions in the unit in general.

Jones says they will do an unannounced inspection in the nearby future before they finalise their report.

“The hospital is not in a dire state, but I cannot say I am satisfied with what I observed. We also have to obtain an independent opinion on the state of the hospital and how the current refurbishing is impacting on mental healthcare users. But we want to implore the hospital to fast-track the refurbishment to deal with shoddy work by the contractor and to consider terminating the contract.”