Most of hospitals in the province are in a very bad state, with patients forced to come seek help from the dilapidating buildings.
Health MEC Sasekani Manzini has said that an amount of R50 million has been made available by the Mpumalanga government to renovate the falling hospitals.
The government has started rebuilding the Middelburg hospital but it’s not clear when construction will be completed but a lot of hospitals in the province look abandoned by officials.
Manzini said the problems faced in the province were dilapidating hospitals and “some which no longer need to be renovated but to construct a new facility”.
Manzini was in eMalahleni last week Friday to announce the construction of a hospital in the area.
The people of eMalahleni have been left without a hospital after the Witbank Hospital began being used as a referral hospital, forcing the locals to drive all the way to Impungwe Hospital.
But now the government together with mining giant Anglo American will build a new hospital in the space where the TB Hospital in Ackerville is located and will then turn the Impungwe Hospital into a TB hospital.
Health MEC Sasekani Manzini (L), eMalahleni mayor Linah Malatjie (C) and Anglo American Coal CEO July Ndlovu (R) as the sod-turning ceremony marking the begin of construction of a new hospital in eMalahleni. PICTURE BY 013NEWS/MLM.
Anglo American and another Germany company will fund the construction of the Ackerville hospital.
“The honourable Premier [Refilwe Mtshweni] gave us another R50 million to ensure that we maintain existing infrastructures,” she said when she spoke to journalists.
She said the provincial government has taken a decision to reconstruct the Mapulaneng Hospital in Bushbuckridge, Mmamethlake Hospital in Dr JS Moroka, the Bethal Hospital and Middelburg Hospital.
She said the construction of new hospitals does not mean they should abandon the existing ones, “so that is why the issue of maintenance becomes important”.
“Maintaining is an on-going thing. We are maintaining on a daily basis, and the R50 million that we got from the Premier is not enough hence we are excited when we get such sponsorship from Anglo American in assisting us either building a clinic or hospital,” she said.
The police had to use rubber bullets as PRET members began blocking an EFF march in the area.
The Practical Radical Economic Transformation group of Mpumalanga may also be engaged in a fight for economic freedom for the majority of black South Africans but they are not friends with the Economic Freedom Fighters.
Thursday this week the group stood in the way of EFF members who were marching to the eMalahleni municipality to submit a memorandum of demands to mayor Linah Malatjie.
Led by provincial leader Collen Sedibe, the EFF headed to the municipality in order to complain about lack of service delivery, alleged corruption and nepotism when they met PRET members who were singing struggle songs on the street of the municipality and waiting for them.
“They will not pass here and go to the municipality. Let them go back,” one PRET member was heard shouting as the EFF approached and both groups began to mix in a confrontational way.
Cops had to intervene and form a human shield between both groups but when they could not be able to control the violent PRET group they began using rubber bullets, firing hard at PRET members.
Some PRET members during the stand-off with police.
The EFF had applied from authorities in order to stage the march to the eMalahleni municipality and the PRET gathering in front of the municipality building was illegal, one cop told the 013NEWS reporter.
PRET members began throwing stones back at cops, forcing CBD shops to close down as cops chased them with rubber bullets.
A vehicle from Weng Family Supermarket was torched by PRET members.
It is still not clear why the PRET members were disrupting the EFF march but one PRET member said the EFF were “coming late in order to take things from us”.
“There are a lot of issues we have been fighting for in this area and where was the EFF?” he said, “we are closer to achieve on those issues and the EFF is coming to hijack the issues,” he claimed.
Clad in their trademark yellow t-shirts bearing the face of president Cyril Ramaphosa, members of the group said they were there to “defend the municipality”.
Prior to their march, the EFF went to Dingindoda on Wednesday evening and told the tenants that they would help them in the fight between eMalahleni Housing Company boss George Xaba and businessman Themba ‘Masofa’ Sgudla who is also the leader of PRET.
The municipality has made significant progress in delivering on its promise to residents during 2017/2018 financial year.
eMalahleni mayor Linah Malatjie has outlined her municipality’s successes in delivering on pledges it made.
She was addressing residents at the Sinqobile community hall Tuesday this week and told the residents of the completion of a string of projects – among others, the completion of the construction of roads in Hlalanikahle as well as the Mashiye street in Kwa-Thomas Mahlanguville.
Verdi road in Klarinet and Eton road in Mthunzi Vilakazi have also been completed at a cost of R10 million.
She assured the residents that 345 houses in eMpumelelweni will be connected to the electricity network by end of October 2018, “if everything goes according to plan”.
So far, the municipality has completed the building of 1168 km of outfall line to connect eMpumelelweni, Hlalanikahle and Klipspruit, she said.
And a total of 9161 meters of sewer pipes have been installed to deal with congestion at eMpumelelweni.
Schools have also benefited in the budget as several schools were refurbished and waterborne ablution facilities were constructed.
At Nancy Shiba Primary School, refurbishment and renovation of 18 toilets waterborne ablutions and provision of two 10 000 litres elevated water tanks.
Other schools which benefited include Sibukosethu, Sukumani, and Siyathokoza primary schools.
The rehabilitation of 34 waterborne ablution has been completed at Witbank High School.
Twenty eight classrooms, an administration block, laboratory, library, computer centre, school hall, 40 ablution, electricity fence, and three sports grounds have been constructed at the new Klarinet Primary school.
A total of R 241 million has been budgeted for the approved projects in the 2018/2019 financial year.
The mayor is visiting various communities in Izimbizos to source further inputs to the approved budget.