Residents of Jouberton in Klerksdorp, North West, have called on the Health Department to open a multi-million rand community healthcare centre, built in their area three years ago. Residents say they are forced to travel to other areas to seek health services. They say despite traveling long distances for services, those clinics are often overcrowded.
Some have to return to the clinics a number of times before they are assisted.
A R160 million health facility, built three years ago, to enable Jourberton residents to access health services at a nearby facility has, according to residents, become a white elephant.
“As the community of Extension 19 and 20, we want to know why the clinic is not open, at least then provide us with information so that we should know,” says one resident.
“I am from the clinic in Alabama. I went there at 06:45. I just arrived now and I was supposed to be at work now and I did not go,” says anothr resident.
The Provincial Health Department says all hands are on deck to counter delays in the opening of the community health centre in Jouberton.
Health MEC Madoda Sambatha elaborates, “Both Sekhing and Jouberton are old projects that must be finished. That is why I said one of the budget of the infrastructure, we still have 50% of funding going project, that would have been project of two years ago. They should have been finished, but they are not finished. We are working on finishing them.”
And, the standing committee on health in the provincial legislature says it is not acceptable for communities to be forced to travel long distances to access health services.
Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Health, Priscilla Williams, says, “It is not fair completely. It is wrong actually for society because remember, we said we want to bring services to the people and we still stand by that, but when we cannot provide for that – and not because there is no funds available but it is because of our own internal administrative challenges that we created or are created – it becomes unfair practice to the people.”
The Provincial Health Department says the facility will be handed over to the community before the end of this year.