Gate opened at last

2016-10-19 06:00
THE small gate at the Phekolong Hospital, which the community wanted open, is no longer closed. Photo: Tladi Moloi

THE small gate at the Phekolong Hospital, which the community wanted open, is no longer closed. Photo: Tladi Moloi

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BOHLOKONG. – A small gate at the Phekolong Hospital in Bohlokong near Bethlehem has finally been opened, thanks to Lindiwe Makgalema, the executive mayor of the Dihlabeng Local Municipality, who listened to the community’s call.

This gate in Phekolong Street was opened last week after several requests from community members who claimed that the main entrance, approximately 150 m away, was too far for many people.

Security personnel has been deployed at the gate. A month ago, the executive mayor said that they would have to station security personnel at the gate on a permanent basis for the safety of the nurses and patients.

A fortnight ago, Express Eastern Free State published a story on the front page reporting on the community’s plea to have the gate opened.

Express Eastern Free State can confirm that after the story was published, Thabo Thuswa, a community member who was behind the opening of the gate, was called to a meeting by the local municipality, specifically to the office of the executive mayor, to discuss the matter.

Thuswa earlier created a petition on Facebook that got a total of 148 signatures. He told Express Eastern Free State that he was happy that the mayor has listened to their call and opened the gate.

“It has been written in the Feedom Charter that the people shall govern and we are happy that our executive mayor has not turned a blind eye to our request,” he says.

He says he is also delighted that the same gate has created employment for those security personnel members who will be working there.

“I want to thank the mayor and the team. I am sure we would have the best municipality if they can always act when the community calls for their intervention,” he says.

After the opening of the gate, Thuswa wrote on his Facebook wall: “About three months ago, I formulated a strong social media campaign and created an online petition to have Phekolong Hospital’s small gate opened.

“I went to necessary and relevant offices to engage with them about having it opened. Along the way I wanted to quit and thought it’s impossible to achieve this, some people were laughing at me, saying I’m pulling heroic stunts and stuff.

“The journey wasn’t easy at all.

“I want to thank each and every one of you who has been with us through this journey. Our Dihlabeng Local Municipality leadership, Thabo Justice Mokoena and Executive Mayor Lindiwe Makhalema, your involvement has indeed proven that the people shall govern. You have both been very instrumental from the outset when I approached you. Leadership is action and not a position.”

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