Fewer Psychiatric Patients But Long Waiting Times At South Rand Hospital

Custom-designed Psychiatric Ward

South Rand Hospital has fewer psychiatric patients than before but the two wards set aside for them need to be relocated to a custom-designed psychiatric ward on the ground floor.

This was the observation of a DA delegation that visited the hospital yesterday (27 February) after receiving complaints from patients. DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC Jack Bloom, DA Joburg South Constituency Head Manny de Freitas MP and DA councillors Michael Crichton, Rashieda Landis and Faeeza Chame inspected various parts of the hospital and met with hospital CEO Dr Nobantu Maleka.

We were pleased to find that psychiatric patients were no longer mixed with other patients in ordinary wards and that the numbers were down dramatically because of the recent opening of the psychiatric ward at the Bheki Mlangeni Hospital in Soweto.

There were only three psychiatric patients in the 27-bed female psychiatric ward and 11 patients in the 34-bed male psychiatric ward on the fourth floor.

Psychiatric patients are seen for an observation period of 72 hours and then discharged or sent to a more specialist and long-term facility.

One Security Guard at the Psychiatric Ward

The two psychiatric wards are not ideal as they have been converted from ordinary wards. A request has been made for the refurbishment of a former crèche on the ground floor into a proper psychiatric ward where staff can interact with the patients and they can also recuperate in a secure garden.

Staff expressed concern that there was only one security guard at the psychiatric ward and that the glass windows could be shattered and shards used as a weapon or to commit suicide. There are burglar bars to prevent a patient jumping to their death, as happened in May last year.

Long waiting periods are a continuing problem at this hospital.

Official figures for July to September last year show that patients wait between two-and-a-half hours to three hours at both the Outpatients department and at Casualty, which is unacceptable.

Moratorium on Hiring more Admin Staff

On a positive note, however, the hospital is looking very clean and pharmacy waiting times have decreased.

Hospital CEO Dr Nobantu Maleka said there was a moratorium on hiring more administrative staff which has led to long waiting times; there was also a shortage of 16 nurses.

The hospital’s staff compliment needs to be increased to cope with the large increase in patient numbers.

Maleka said that there are plans to renovate the Outpatient ward towards the end of the year.

The DA will monitor the promised improvements and push for more staff and for electronic files to replace the paper files that often get lost and add to patients’ frustration and waiting time.




Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222

[Image source]

Politics on Tap : DA Engages Community Members

Politics on Tap

Today, Friday 29 May 2015, members of the Democratic Alliance in the Pretoria East region will host Politics on Tap, an event that seeks to bring South African citizens into an environment where they are able to interact on a personal basis, with their elected politicians.

This time, our panel will include the DA Gauteng Provincial Chairperson, Solly Msimanga MPL, DA’s Shadow Minister of Transport, Manny de Freitas MP and Mayor of the DA-Governed Midvaal Municipality, Bongani Baloyi.

The entire format of the engagement is to encourage the public to question, debate and engage with the topical issues of the day.

The Current Political Landscape

The members of the panel will give short opening speeches on their particular areas of expertise and their views on the current political landscape in South Africa before taking questions from the audience.

At this week’s event we will delve into matters concerning E-tolls, the state of local government in Gauteng and the upcoming local government elections.

Direct engagement with politicians is lacking within the South African political space.  Politics on Tap aims to bridge this gap by creating an informal setting where people can participate in both social and political activity at the same time.

We encourage members of the public to come through and join us.

Date : 29 May 2015

Time : 18:30

Place : Pretoria Boys High Old Boys Club, 378 Queen’s Crescent, Pretoria.


Media Enquiries

Phuti Kwenaite

Constituency Officer : Fountains Rust

074 633 8774


Jordan Griffiths

Convenor : Politics on Tap

084 209 3760


Nkele Molapo

Media Officer

072 041 4842


[Image source: Manny de Freitas and Bongani Baloyi]