SAHRC condemns looting of copper piping at Charlotte Maxeke hospital

Copper piping worth R30m was looted from the Charlotte Maxeke hospital which was gutted by fire in April.
Copper piping worth R30m was looted from the Charlotte Maxeke hospital which was gutted by fire in April.
Image: Antonio Muchave

The SA Human Rights Commission has expressed concern over the looting of copper piping worth R30m at the Charlotte Maxeke hospital in Johanndesburg.

The hospital has been closed since April after it was gutted by fire and is in the process of being partially reopened.

“These reports [of looting] come at a time when the hospital and the Gauteng healthcare system are still contending with the negative impact that the fire damage has had on the provision of healthcare services to thousands of hospital users,” the commission said in a statement.

The commission said its recent visits to the hospital had revealed the challenges and issues around physical infrastructure.

“While the commission understands that access to healthcare is seriously constrained at the moment due to the current third wave, [it is] is of the view that appropriate infrastructure must always be in place for the healthcare system to function optimally and to be available and of an adequate standard.

“This reported incident of looting requires the Department of Health and other hospitals to urgently conduct a holistic security assessment of all healthcare facilities in the Gauteng province.”

The commission called on the health department and the hospital management to improve security and allocate more resources to secure critical infrastructure and assets at the facility.

“Consequentially, the allocation of additional budget for security can either facilitate, or impede protection, promotion and fulfilment of human rights.

“The commission strongly condemns the senseless vandalism and theft and calls on law enforcement agencies to conduct a full investigation.”

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