#UnrestSA: SA blood bank re-opens three Durban branches

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Dr Pixley Ka Seme street in Durban strewn with dirt and filth caused after five days of looting.
Dr Pixley Ka Seme street in Durban strewn with dirt and filth caused after five days of looting.
Rajesh Jantilal/AFP
  • On Monday, an SA National Blood Service facility was looted in Durban on live television.
  • In some instances, the blood bank had to use stock reserved for a crisis because of the operational effects caused by the civil unrest.
  • Some of the facilities that were closed in KwaZulu-Natal will be reopening this weekend.

The SA National Blood Service (SANBS) will reopen some of its facilities in KwaZulu-Natal at the weekend after it was forced to close its doors due to the ongoing unrest in the province. 

On Monday, the country watched in shock as an SANBS facility at Queensmead Mall in Durban was broken into on live television. The visuals were broadcasted on eNCA during president Cyril Ramaphosa's address. 

READ | Zizi Kodwa says 'experienced' people behind looting as residents stand to protect Soweto mall

"As shown on live television during the president's speech on Monday night, our donor centre in Queensmead Mall in Durban was vandalised and looted, as well as three other facilities in different parts of the KZN. As a result, we were sadly forced to shut our doors to ensure the protection of our employees, donors and property," the SANBS said on Friday. 

This, and the unrest, prompted several facilities in the province to close, which had an effect on the movement of blood and samples to SANBS processing and testing facilities, among other functions of the blood bank. 

"KwaZulu-Natal is one of the biggest provinces in the country and contributes significantly to overall blood stocks. The disruptions have led to the use of buffer stocks in some instances, which are normally reserved for use in a crisis," said the blood bank. 

"The SANBS is happy to open once again to the people of KZN to donate, if they feel safe to do so, at our various donor centres, which will be reopening this weekend.

READ | Major disruptions at Durban and Richards Bay ports due to unrest

"As a nation, we celebrate the spirit of Madiba this Mandela Day, and in honouring his legacy, call on South Africans to unite for the common good to save lives and livelihoods. 

SANBS facilities that will reopen
  • Bluff Donor Centre – Durban
  • Hillcrest Donor Centre – Hillcrest
  • Musgrave Donor Centre – Durban

"While we are cognisant of the fact that we are not yet fully operational and people are still reeling from the devastating events of the past week … we have started resuming these operations. We are confident in the resilience of South Africans who embrace the spirit of Ubuntu which has carried our nation for the past 27 years and will continue to do so," it added.

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