Gauteng Health MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko has been slammed for “unashamedly” misleading Kempton Park residents by unveiling plans to build a new 300-bed hospital without an approved budget.
Johannesburg – Gauteng Health MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko has been criticised for making Kempton Park residents empty promises.
Refiloe Nt’sekhe, the DA’s Gauteng Constituency Head for Tembisa South, said it was reckless for the ANC-led Gauteng government to announce plans to build a hospital without outlining timelines or having an approved budget.
She said the ANC had been making empty promises about the so-called haunted Kempton Park Hospital since 2014.
“The department has several times promised to build this new 300-bed Kempton Park Hospital; however, we have never seen any commitment in the form of an official timeline or budget allocation.
“Since 2014, there have been discussions that the department will demolish the old hospital for R1.5 billion or renovate it for R1.4 billion.
“Time has passed and there has been no action and the promises have not yet materialised,” she warned.
The Kempton Park Hospital was closed more than 20 years ago.
In 2013, the Gauteng government committed to build a new 300-bed hospital at the same site, but this never happened.
Construction was supposed to take place between March 2013 and July 2014, but the project was never completed.
The Gauteng health department said this week that building the hospital will alleviate pressure from the neighbouring Tembisa and Edenvale hospitals in Ekurhuleni.
Nt’sekhe said the hospital, which closed over two decades ago, was now being used for criminal and extramural activities.
“This happens while staff members from neighbouring clinics and hospitals are distressed by the influx of patients.
“Currently, Tembisa Hospital is barely surviving because it is overcrowded and cannot contain the increasing number of patients. Patients are being turned away to die at home due to a shortage of beds.
“The DA demands that MEC Nkomo-Ralehoko must put her words into action by outlining a specific timeline as to when her department will begin refurbishing Kempton Park Hospital and where the budget will come from,” she said.
Nt’sekhe said Kempton Park and Tembisa residents were tired of lies and empty promises and they now needed action to access adequate healthcare services within their vicinity.
A Gauteng health spokesperson said this week that Nkomo-Ralehoko had engaged the Gauteng Infrastructure Funding Agency (GIFA) to assist with the funding proposals for the demolition of the old facility and the building of a new hospital.