Hammanskraal residents frustrated over delays in opening of newly built clinic

Residents of Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria, are frustrated over delays in opening a newly-built clinic aimed at addressing overcrowding.

The Mandisa Shiceka Clinic, built at an estimated cost of R124 million, remains closed. This is despite the fact that its construction was completed last year. The Gauteng provincial government previously blamed the Tshwane Metro for the delay.

The clinic was meant to bring relief to the already burdened health system of Hammanskraal, but that has not been the case. Patients are frustrated at having to get treatment under a tent, which they say is not conducive. Mobile structures were erected in 2017 as a temporary measure.

Alfred Phiri, who frequents the clinic, says the conditions are bad.

“It’s very hot and we are using a tent but there is a building that is already finished. It’s about three years now and I don’t know what is the problem that we are still using tents and not the building. It’s not clean. You can even go inside. If you go to a clinic and be under a tent, I mean it’s not okay.”

With the coronavirus pandemic, residents are also concerned about their safety. Katlego Msiza says little is being done to ensure that patients are safe.

“They help us under a tent. There’s no privacy. There’s also an issue of adherence to social distancing. We can’t all maintain social distancing, if we try to, then some end up having to stand which is not conducive for sick people. We already wait a long time trying to get in.”

Several complaints have been lodged by staff about the dire situation, to no avail.

Newly-elected Tshwane mayor Randall Williams has attributed the delay to matters that relate to the transfer of land, ownership and powers of attorney. Williams also says he has requested an urgent report on the matter.