NELSON Mandela Bay residents living in an area along Salamntu Road in KwaZakhele are complaining about the dilapidated building on the corner of Salamntu Road and Tshawuka Street that used to be a hospital, which is now left in ruins.
“This used to be a hospital. It helped us a lot. I don’t know what happened, but now it is an eye sore,” said Lindile Nkosana (47), a resident.
Nkosana wished the building would be rebuilt for a hospital or be destroyed once and for all. He alleges that it has become a den of thieves and drug-users and the building is a danger to society.
“Due to reasons unknown to us the hospital was closed down and the building was left unattended, destroyed and left for anyone to do or use as they please. Now it is an illegal dumping place and a health hazard because it has become a site where people throw all sorts of things away,” said another concerned resident, Elizabeth Nelani.
She added that there is a stench in the building and that rats, flies and cockroaches own the place.
“Other people use it for a toilet and late at night women and children are dragged and raped there,” said Ward 22 Councillor Nqabakazi Zuma’s assistant Lindiwe Mgijima. According to Mgijima, the old building is also allegedly used for backstreet abortions and it has a stench like that of dead animals.
“As a result, people in the neighbourhood find it difficult to open windows for fresh air in the morning and we are concerned that our children are exposed to germs,” said Nelani.
According to Mgijima, Councillor Zuma receives complaints every day about the building and was concerned about it.
She said the municipality tried to clean the place for the sake of residents’ health some time ago, but could not do it anymore, because the place was privately owned - by former Nelson Mandela Bay Executive Health Director Dr Mamisa Chabula-
Contacted for comment, Dr Chabula-Nxiweni said, “We are aware of the problem and tried to clean the building once. We want to say to the residents that they must bear with us a little longer. We’ll come and clean it this week as someone has shown interest in taking the building over for something else. It is in a bad state and was not easy to sell.”