Joburg pathology building delayed by more than three years

The budget for a new Pathology Services building for the Gauteng Health Department is R588 million but it is running more than three years behind schedule.

This is revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

According to Mokgethi:

“The original plan was to refurbish and rehabilitate the existing facility that is situated in Hillbrow, but after assessment of the facility it was decided to rather build a new one, incorporate a head office for the Forensic Pathology services as well as basement parking for the existing nurses’s college at Helen Joseph Hospital.”

Construction of this building situated next to the Helen Joseph Hospital started on 3 November 2016 and was supposed to be completed on 3 November 2019.

It is now only 71% completed and is expected to be finished on 21 January 2023.

The delay is blamed on poor service by the professional team and change in designs during the construction stage, which has led to additional work and cost increases.

Meanwhile, pathologists continue to work at the decrepit Hillbrow mortuary instead of a new building that should have been completed two-and-a-half years ago.

This is yet another example of the notorious incompetence of the Gauteng Infrastructure Development Department (GDID) which hardly ever completes a project on schedule and within budget.

Corruption is also a factor as fishy contractors are often selected who are unable to finish the job and have to be replaced at extra expense.

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is investigating many cases involving the GDID, including the R500 million Anglo Ashanti ghost hospital in the far west rand, and botched repairs to the fire-damaged Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital.

This is why the DA has called for the GDID to be shut down and replaced by a competent entity that can get the job done.

Premier David Makhura needs to take this decisive action otherwise Gauteng residents will continue to suffer from endless delays in vital building projects.