Health/30 May 2023,14:12pm/ Mandla Nkosi
Free State premier Mxolisi Dukwana and Health MEC Mathabo Leeto: image supplied
By Mandla Nkosi: Rouxville residents in the Free State finally have an operational clinic after almost 10 years of construction.
The clinic which will serve Rouxville community, was opened by the Free State premier, Mxolisi Dukwana, the Health MEC, Mathabo Leeto, and the MEC for Treasury, Gadija Brown.
The opening of the clinic is part of the Premier’s Health Imbizo in Rouxville, which is part of the broader Free State Provincial Government healthcare programme aimed at rolling-out healthcare services throughout the length and breadth of the Free State.
At the opening of the clinic, Leeto said the clinic took this long to be completed due to the challenges of contractors. “The opening of this clinic is coupled with ‘Taking Health Services to the People in the area’.”
Over R700 million has been allocated to infrastructure projects, new and continuing, for the financial year 2023/24.
While tabling her maiden budget, Leeto vowed to deal with non-performing and incompetent contractors or service providers. She said she is not going to tolerate the appointment of incompetent contractors who do not complete the projects timeously. She said incomplete projects by these contractors negatively impact the department’s image.
Her statement comes as the Boitumelo Hospital in Kroonstad has been under construction since 2003 with the project envisaged to end back in 2012. However, to date, it has not been completed. It’s alleged that five different contractors were brought to work on the project but all failed despite being paid millions of rands.
Another infrastructure thorn in the department’s side is the completion of the maternity ward at the province’s foremost trauma hospital, Pelonomi. The ward has been under construction for years, with legal battles between the contractor and the department.
When asked when will the maternity ward be completed, she said it is unclear when the ward will be completed as she still needs to do her own assessment.
In order for her to do a proper assessment, she has to be in possession of different reports which will give her answers to what has happened and what still needs to happen.
Leeto acknowledged that the construction of the maternity ward needs to be completed as soon as possible because it is essential that each hospital has its own, proper maternity ward.