A multimillion-rand primary health facility at Kekana Gardens in Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria, has become a ghost clinic, while residents are forced to receive healthcare services in a nearby converted shipping container.
The R65.3 million state-of-the-art facility has new furniture, medical equipment and a fully equipped playground, which is gathering dust.
According to Census 2011, Kekana Gardens, which falls under the Tshwane metro, is home to more than 15 700 people.
Residents have to arrive at the makeshift container clinic as early as 5am in a bid to be first in the queue, with people having to wait for up to eight hours to be attended to.
According to community leader Bull Hlupo, construction of the facility began in early 2016 and was completed by mid-2017.
He said at times, community members had to guard the facility themselves as there was no security at the time.
He said last year, Gauteng premier David Makhura promised, in a radio interview, that the clinic will be opened in August last year.
Hlupo said when August passed without anything happening, MEC for human settlements, cooporative governance and traditional affairs Dikgang Moiloa promised the facility would be opened in this month.
“We are waiting because January will be over soon. Five months ago, I personally called the MEC [for health, Gwen Ramokgopa] asking her when the clinic will be opened. She said she would come back to me but I am still waiting,” he said.
He said the clinic’s opening was delayed because the department advertised a tender for construction but did not issue a tender for medical equipment.
“When the facility was about to be completed, the department realised the flaw and asked the contractor to also provide the medical equipment, but the contractor said there was no funds for this. Medical equipment was only delivered three months ago,” Hlupo said.
Mothomone Pitsi, chief director: Tshwane district health services, said the outstanding issues were a certificate of compliance, fire certificate, certification of occupation, bar-coding, and registration of furniture into the asset register.
He said the clinic was completed in February 2016 and handed over to the department in December last year, with medical equipment delivered in December.
Pitsi said there was no reason the opening of the facility was delayed.