The construction of the Observatory Forensic Pathology Services is expected to start following the groundbreaking ceremony by the Western Cape Government Health together with the Department of Transport and Public Works (DTPW). The multimillion rand projects, built at the entrance of Groote Schuur hospital, is expected to be completed within 23 months.Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, MEC for Health, says: “The work that we do in Health mostly depends on our infrastructure. Forensic Pathology Services play a critical role in the delivery of essential services to the people of the Western Cape. When developing these new facilities it is important that we look beyond our 2030 vision which seeks to give access to person-centred and quality care.”According to a previous report by the department of public works the construction was appointed in April, after five years of delay.The institute will replace the pathology laboratory in Salt River and is expected to offer advanced services. Reports say it will provide level 4 forensic services aimed at extracting, analysing and preserving the integrity of evidence for use by the criminal justice system. According to Robert Daniels, the spokesperson for the department of pathology forensic services at the department of health, the three-storey institute will enable better integration of the work of the provincial Forensic Pathology Service and the National Health Laboratory Service, coupled with facilities to support the University of Cape Town’s academic training in the field. The end result will be an efficient and functional building for the Western Cape Department of Health with low life-cycle building costs.The project is reportedly going to use methods that provide a number of short-term work opportunities and skills training for local people. MEC of Transport and Public Works, Donald Grant adds: “As with all of our projects, we have set some benchmarks in terms of the empowerment of targeted enterprises, and the use of local labour in the duration of the project. The project makes use of labour-intensive methods that provide a number of short-term work opportunities and skills training for local people. A total of R21m will be spent on targeted enterprises, R15m on suppliers and manufacturers, and R3m on local labours.”Ward councillor Paddy Chapple confirms that the construction has created jobs for unemployed community members in ward 57. He says they are pleased with the planning and the location of this project.“It has generated employment for locals on the job seekers database which is to be welcomed. I am pleased that this multimillion rand project has received a priority as it is a state of art facility and its location next to the hospital is appropriate,” Chapple says.