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Bush used as toilet

By Alex Matlala | Feb 24, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

AMBULANCES in Giyani are being used to transport nurses and emergency services personnel to the bush to relieve themselves.

AMBULANCES in Giyani are being used to transport nurses and emergency services personnel to the bush to relieve themselves.

This became evident yesterday when an ambulance was spotted at the side of the road about 5km from Giyani on the road to Malamulele in Limpopo.

Two officials were seen going into the bush carrying toilet paper after leaving the ambulance.

Sowetan stopped to observe this and a few minutes later another ambulance with a woman driver arrived and stopped a few metres away from the first one.

This time a man got out and picked a spot to relieve himself in the bush while the driver waited in the ambulance.

A few minutes later the official came out of the bush and went back to the ambulance. The woman driver got out with a bottle of water and helped the man wash his hands before they drove back to town.

Sowetan followed the ambulance to the Kremetart Clinic, which is in the same building as emergency services.

"This is what we do each time we are pressed because none of the toilets here are functioning," said one official.

"We always drive to the bush to save ourselves from the embarrassment of fetching water from outside the building to flush the toilet."

He said the clinic's toilets had not had running water since it was opened in 2007.

Former National, Education, Health and Allied Workers Union chairperson in Giyani, Smith Shimange, said the health department was rotten to the core.

He said the department could be spending more than R10000 a month on petrol to ferry officials to the bush when it could save the money by repairing the toilets.

Shimange branded the practice a wasteful expenditure of taxpayers' money.

Nurses who work in the clinic said they had written countless letters to the department about the harsh conditions under which they had to work, but have had no positive response.

"The shortage of water has always topped the list of our grievances," a concerned nurse said.

"The X-ray machine is old and dilapidated and has been dumped in the clinic."

She said most of the workers at the clinic had been diagnosed as anaemic, which means their blood was weak because of inhaling the radiation from the disused X-ray equipment. She said radiation has made them weak, dizzy and tired.

The Kremetart Clinic debacle comes barely a day after the nearby Nkhensani Hospital was without water for nine days.

This was because the only four borehole pumps in the area were broken.

Nurses, patients and doctors had to go to the nearby filling station or drive almost 7km to town to relieve themselves. The pumps were later fixed after Sowetan highlighted the plight of patients and hospital staff.

Health department spokesman Selby Makgotho said they were not aware of the situation in Giyani and would investigate.


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