The Kwa-Zamokuhle Clinic in Middelburg went up in flames about four years ago during unrests, and since then patients have had to endure several hours in long queues, sometimes in adverse weather conditions, to access health services at a mobile clinic.
But these patients can now breathe a huge sigh of relief.
Mpumalanga's department of health in partnership with the Steve Tshwete Local Municipality and mining firm Glencore Coal South Africa have come together to build a new Community Health Centre, while renovating the old burned down structure.
The old structure was officially opened on Tuesday. It has been renovated to be used as a temporary clinic while the new clinic is being constructed.
Picture: The renovated Kwa-Zamokuhle Clinic. (Image supplied)
The three partners also conducted a sod-turning ceremony for the construction of the state of the art clinic at Kwa-Zamokuhle Township. An amount of R16.5 million has been injected by Glencore into this project.
During the sod turning, an elderly patient Magula Elizabeth expressed her appreciation. “At times it is cold and rainy and we have to wait in long queues to get assisted. At last we are getting a new clinic. I am so happy," she said.
The new Ideal Kwa-Zamokuhle Clinic is set to operate 24 hours, seven days a week. The clinic will boast an administration staff, excellent supply of medicines, full human resources, health information management, maternity unit, staff accommodation, support service block, Emergency Medical Service base and Youth Centre.
"On behalf of the Department of Health, the MEC and our local municipality, we are very happy because the clinic that was burnt down has been revamped to be a temporally structure while we wait for the new one," said the Mayor for Steve Tshwete Local Municipality Mike Masina.
He also appealed to the community to refrain from burning down service delivery infrastructures when they want to raise concerns. "That is not good and we plead that this should not happen again,” said Masina.
Glencore SA Chief Executive Officer Murray Houston said: "We are happy that we are doing something for the people."
Picture: The mobile clinic that patients have been using. (Image supplied)
He said they were very concerned that there was no proper health facility for the locals since the structure was burnt down.
"The current old clinic has been revamped and will be used as base for Emergency Medical Service and as a centre for youth, and the second benefit indeed is the new Community Health Centre which we are currently building, which will take us 18 months to complete,” said Houston.