11 new clinics 'a ploy for votes'

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

The Mpumalanga health department prides itself on opening 11 clinics in a single month - but some beneficiaries see this as nothing but an electioneering ploy to garner votes.

The department officially opened the clinics this month, but the question on many people's lips is "why did they wait until elections time to do so"?

The department has said it has simply followed the government calendar, which stipulates April as "health month".

This month, the department opened clinics at Dludluma, Block B and Mananga in Nkomazi, as well as Silington, Zoeknog, Kildare and Madras at Bushbuckridge.

Thembalethu clinic in Thembisile Hani, Sakhile clinic in Standerton and Embalenhle clinic at Govan Mbeki were also opened.

MEC for health Fish Mahlalela is expected to open the last clinic at Mjejane in Nkomazi.

But not everybody is happy with the openings of these clinics.

"Why did the government wait until the last month of the current term to open these long-awaited clinics?" asked Sinah Mokoena, of Bushbuckridge.

" Completing just a few of the long-overdue clinics days before the election, will not make up for their failure in the health system over the past years."

Another resident, Poppy Bokaba, described the move as "brainwashing". "They are just trying to buy us so that we vote for them," she said.

Department spokesperson Mpho Gabashane said: "We have aggressively built many clinics in the last five years focusing on the under-resourced rural areas."