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By Peter Mothiba

Community of Soshanguve protesting near the newly built clinic
Community of Soshanguve protesting near the newly built clinic

The Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development (DID) has lambasted the City of Tshwane for the delay in opening the Soshanguve clinic which has been standing like a white elephant since it was built in 2018.

Residents of Block T in Soshanguve staged a protest on 10 April this year, demanding that the clinic be opened and put to use with immediate effect.

After contacting the City of Tshwane regarding the said delay, Tshwane Talks was referred by the City of Tshwane to the Gauteng Department of Health.

This as the clinic is actually under the auspices of the Gauteng government and not the City of Tshwane.

But the Department of Health in turn referred Tshwane Talks to the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development (DID) which is the “implementor” in all infrastructure projects of the Gauteng Provincial government.

DID Director of External Communications Alfred Nhlapo told Tshwane Talks that there are numerous factors which caused the delay but that the actions of the City of Tshwane municipality were largely to blame in the delay.

“Initially, the land on which the clinic was built was donated to the Gauteng Provincial government by the City of Tshwane municipality, but the selfsame City of Tshwane rescinded its own decision regarding the donation of the land,” said Nhlapo.

Community of Soshanguve protesting near the newly built clinic
Community of Soshanguve protesting near the newly built clinic

According to Nhlapo, the City of Tshwane’s decision to renege from its intention to donate land stalled the process of the building plans approval and bulk power application submissions, meaning that the occupation certificate could not be obtained.

” The provincial government had to start from scratch with the land acquisition process by procuring land from the City of Tshwane, including finalisation of town planning applications,” he said.

” The construction of the clinic has now been completed and the only outstanding matter is the installation of the bulk power cable that will connect the clinic to the electricity grid.

Nhlapo said this activity could not be completed before the City of Tshwane installed the power transformer at the clinic.

PARAGRAPH PLEASE) The clinic has been built at a cost of R155 362 447, 83 cents and the tender to build it was awarded to TCT Civils.

However, Nhlapo assured the community of Soshanguve that the clinic, which has been named Boikhutsong Community Day Centre, will be opened officially in May this year.

When residents of block T in Soshanguve protested against the delayed opening of the clinic on 10 April this year, Rise Mzansi’s Tshwane Regional leader Michael Shackleton was in attendance and he told Tshwane Talks that the delay was caused by an inept mayor and her MMC for Health who clearly can’t deliver health services to the community and that their failure supports his party’s call for new leaders in municipalities as well as at national government.

A statement sent to Tshwane Talks a day after the protest by a resident who wished to remain anonymous reads as follows:

“As residents we want the clinic to be opened as soon as possible. We are preparing ourselves to visit the mayor (Cilliers Brink) and MMC for Health (Rina Marx) soon, and ask them to approve the plan and install services at the clinic so that our community and patients can have a dignified health structure. And if there are issues between the municipality and the province, I think those issues must not involve us as residents. We are saying let the community not suffer because of politics between the two parties (Gauteng Provincial government and City of Tshwane municipality)

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