Efforts by the Democratic Alliance (DA) proposing for the Gauteng Provincial Government to utilise Kempton Park Hospital have fallen on deaf ears.
For several years both the Gauteng Department of Health and the Department of Infrastructure and Development (DID) have dodged taking responsibility for the reutilization of this abandoned hospital.
The DA has been requesting that the government reopen the hospital or refurbish it for commercialisation purposes that will benefit the residents of Kempton Park and surrounding areas.
However, in a recent sitting in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, MEC for Infrastructure and Development, Lebogang Maile said his department has no mandate to establish the hospital as a multipurpose centre.
According to Maile, his department implemented the scope for Phase 1 of the hospital’s refurbishment in 2015, which was to fence the hospital. The other two phases are still to be implemented, which DID is said to be waiting for a go-ahead instruction from Health.
Contradictory to Maile’s oral replies, in a previous written reply to Questions from the DA to the Health Department, the DA was informed that the Department of Health leased the hospital from DID and is not responsible for the building or infrastructure projects. This shows that this government is clueless about its own responsibilities and keeps shifting accountability. This is while the province is being looted and & burned to the ground.
Maile has further denied that there has been illegal access to the hospital, although we have received reports that it is being used as a ghost touring location and for Airsoft games. Furthermore, the DA has supplied the MEC with contact details of the ghost touring and Airsoft organisers. To this day, the MEC has not provided the DA with updates on an investigation into the matter. This implies that those leading the Gauteng government do not care about our infrastructural resources.
This unused hospital should be used to alleviate the influx of patients at neighbouring hospitals like Tembisa Hospital, or it could be commercialised to encourage the growth of Kempton Park’s economy. If nothing is done soon, the R457 billion investment into the hospital will be wasted as the infrastructure deteriorates.
The DA demands that Premier Panyaza Lesufi urgently intervene before this building is looted, vandalised or destroyed.
By Bronwynn Engelbrecht MPL – DA Constituency Head for Kempton Park