20 000 finally get a clinic nearby
More than 20000 rural Limpopo villagers have at last got a local clinic and will no longer have to travel long distances and spend more than they can afford on taxis to receive healthcare.
Residents of Gravelotte, near Tzaneen, had to travel between 100km and 150km to either Tzaneen or Phalaborwa to get treatment at a clinic.
It cost them up to R169 in fares for transport to and from the clinics.
Poor families could only treat themselves for illnesses with traditional herbs sold to them by inyangas.
But this has changed after the intervention of the provincial Department of Health and Social Development, led by Limpopo MEC Seaparo Sekoati, and a doctor, Risungulo Nyathi.
The two joined forces to reopen an old clinic at the Gravelotte mine compound.
The clinic is owned by the Consolidated Murchison Mine, near Gravelotte.
Seven years after the clinic was closed by the mine, Nyathi asked the mine's management and the provincial Department of Health for permission to reopen it for the benefit of the mine's workers, and for the families of farmers in the area and hundreds of local villagers.
Yesterday, Nyathi's long dream of bringing health services to the community came true.
A memorandum of understanding was signed between the mine, the provincial Department of Health and Nyathi to kick-start the delivery of services at the clinic.
"We are very grateful to be partners with the mine and we believe the service that is going to be offered at the clinic will be first class," Sekoati said.