Khayelitsha to get a modern hospital

A NEW R450million hospital is set to open in Cape Town's Khayelitsha next month, after two years of construction.

Khayelitsha Development Forum (KDF) chairperson Michael Benu described the hospital as a state-of-the-art facility. The KDF has been working with government to involve the community in the construction of the hospital.

But its role has been marred by controversy, with many residents staging protests, after reportedly being overlooked for jobs, and complaining that employers hired outsiders in many businesses in the area.

Benu has now called on residents not to protest and demand jobs when the township's new hospital opens next month.

"People like to protest in situations like these and demand jobs because they lack information about job requirements and other related issues," said Benu.

Benu said they had been in discussions with the Western Cape health department to meet expectations of the residents.

People would be employed according to their skills, but he could not say how jobs would be created or what kind of skills would be needed.

But there were tenders for security, cleaning and other services to ensure that many people were employed, he added.

Benu said about 30percent of tenders in all sectors were given to Khayelitsha small business people during construction of the hospital.

Asked if the new hospital would address overcrowding at three clinics in Khayelitsha, Benu said patients would be referred to the new hospital from the clinics, and would not present themselves for treatment at the hospital without a referral.

"I don't think it will address overcrowding at other community health centres," he said.

Western Cape health MEC Theuns Botha said the hospital would have a total of 230 beds and the design would allow for future expansion to 300 beds.

He said facilities at the hospital included in-patient services, medical day ward, an accident and emergency unit and an ambulance station with a helicopter and perimeter fence.