Criminal acts dent the city’s drive for delivery

2016-05-19 06:00

The City of Cape Town ’s health directorate has submitted insurance claims worth over R750 000 over nine months for losses from theft and burglary.

Last week, criminals damaged the roof and stole pipes and taps at Newfields Satellite Clinic in Hanover Park, leaving it without water and electricity.

In Khayelitsha, thugs took three computers from Zakhele Clinic last Monday.

The following night, thieves stole 50 white plastic chairs and damaged the front door and burglar gate. Other clinics in Khayelitsha have also been targeted, including Town Two’s Nolungile and Kuyasa clinics.

Councillor Siyabulela Mamkeli said: “Crime is a headache at many of our clinics. It seriously affects service delivery.

“Without computers or electricity, staff go back to manual data capturing and finding of client files, which slows down the rate of attending to patients.

“You cannot run the clinic when the water supply is disrupted, so clients have to be turned away,”

Between 1 July last year and 31 March, City Health submitted 104 insurance claims. Of these, 77 were for incidents of theft or burglary and 16 were related to vandalism.

The clinics with the most claims were Mzamomhle Clinic in Brown’s Farm and Nolungile Clinic in Khayelitsha.

“This wilful damage is discouraging for our staff and increases the risk of clients defaulting on life-saving medication. “Once again the most helpless are most affected by the selfish actions of criminals.

“We are already spending a large part of our budget on security and insurance claims – funds that could have been used to improve service delivery.

“People must start realising that money we spend on guarding clinics and fixing damage caused by the communities we are trying to serve has a negative impact on the quality of health services,” said Mamkeli.

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