After seeming like a ghost town since its state-of-the-art construction was finalised nearly two years ago, the multimillion-rand Kekana Gardens Clinic in Hammanskraal was finally opened yesterday.
Residents and patients queued up to use the high-tech public health facility after having to use a makeshift container clinic, and waiting for up to eight hours to be attended to.
The Citizen reported in January that the R65.3 million facility was abandoned, despite furniture, medical equipment and a playground gathering dust. At times, community members had to guard it as there was no security.
Yesterday, nearly two years after it was built, Gauteng Premier David Makhura, along with infrastructure and development executive committee member (MEC) Jacob Mamabolo and Gauteng health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa, opened the clinic to an area with more than 15 700 people.
According to Ramokgopa and Makhura, technology, sourced and manufactured internationally, was what caused the delay.
“This is an ideal clinic and compliant with the National Health Insurance requirements. The technology is also at the best private hospitals in South Africa.
“All new clinics in Gauteng will be built along the same model so we won’t need to start afresh with designs.”
Asked whether it was only opened as part of campaigning for the general elections, Makhura said he was only responding to the demands of the community.
“Those living here would ask me when I am opening the clinic. I had said it would open in November but the equipment was not ready, so it is only opened now.”
Ramokgopa said even if it appeared as it government was electioneering, it was proving to the community that services can be delivered.
“If this is linked to the elections, then why not? Elections are a democracy and to show the people that those elected can deliver. This is proof.”
Two other clinics in Hammanskraal are under construction and the Gauteng government is to reconstruct and revamp the currently congested Jubilee Hospital in the area.