The Democratic Alliance (DA) has expressed concerns about a six-day power outage at South Rand Hospital, south of Johannesburg.
The back-up generator also did not fully function during the outage period.
The DA said the grim details were revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi in a written reply to questions posed by the party’s Jack Bloom in the Gauteng Legislature.
Bloom explained that according to Mokgethi, there was a power failure from 4 to 10 March, which was because “the HP panels between municipality and hospital were faulty, thus electricity from the municipality could not connect to the hospital.”
He said Mokgethi indicated that the generator did not operate for the full duration of the outage as it is aged, and it is speculated that prolonged utilisation resulted in it switching off.
“I am most concerned that faulty electricity panels led to such a long outage and that the generator did not continuously operate when required.
“Both of these failures highlight the poor maintenance at this hospital over many years.”
Bloom said it is unacceptable that a hospital is plunged into darkness for so long without reliable back-up power.
“Patients have suffered as surgery has been delayed and some patients had to be sent to other hospitals for emergency procedures. The dysfunctional Gauteng Infrastructure Department is yet again to blame for badly maintaining hospitals.”
Rand Water woes
Meanwhile, Joburg Water said its bulk supplier, Rand Water has experienced yet another power failure at the Eikenhof pump station from City Power from midnight until 5am on Sunday morning.
The water utility said the outage impacted the Hursthill Reservoirs, which were still recovering from Thursday’s power failure at the Lethabo raw water pump station.
“Customers in the higher lying areas of the Hursthill Reservoir feed may experience no water/ inconsistent supply.
“The Crosby and Brixton systems were also affected and currently at low level but stable at the moment.”
Johannesburg Water has apologised to customers for the inconvenience.