R2 million spent on rotting clinic

R2 million was spent three years ago to renovate the Jeppe Street Clinic, a Gauteng Provincial Government Health facility, in inner city Johannesburg but the building was recently shut down because of a defective roof and dampness that led to smelly mould on the walls.

This has been revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature following my visit to this clinic two months ago which exposed the terrible conditions that led to it being shut down for repairs.

According to Ramokgopa: “The roof needs serious attention, the concrete floor is currently porous … The dampness in the building is caused by the leakage and the structure is old … Rotten staircases and old water pipes need replacement. The smell in the building emanates from the dampness that is continuous and visible mold.”

Ramokgopa says that the estimated cost to repair this Gauteng Provincial Government clinic is R396 000 excluding a thorough structural investigation by an engineer which might increase the cost further.

An average of 2668 patients visited this clinic every month and are now severely inconvenienced as they have been redirected to the Hillbrow Community Health Centre along with the clinic staff.

It is expected that the clinic will reopen on 1 October 2017 subject to the engineer’s report.

The Gauteng Health Department should investigate why the previous contractor did not fix the clinic despite being paid R2 million.

I hope that a decent company is appointed to do the repairs as there is an unfortunate history of contractors doing shoddy work on government buildings, which appears to be why this clinic needs further repairs even after R2 million was spent on it not so long ago.