Home News Criminal charges opened after water supply disruptions at Northern Cape clinics

Criminal charges opened after water supply disruptions at Northern Cape clinics

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Gates shut at clinic. Pictures: Supplied

“All three clinics in Pampierstad were closed on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the water was only restored to sections of Pampierstad.”

CRIMINAL charges have been opened after the water supply was disrupted at Pampierstad clinics this week

Pampierstad resident and member of the Phokwane Service Delivery Forum, Michael Castro Sethlogomi said that a stab wound patient was turned away from the clinic on Tuesday.

“Not all patients have access to their own transport and the nearest health facility from Pampierstad is 15 kilometres away, in Hartswater,” Sethlogomi explained yesterday.

“Security was only allowing maternity patients who were going into labour to enter the premises on Tuesday. The gates were shut and no one was permitted entry.”

According to a notice that was issued by Sedibeng Water, Pampierstad, as well as Sakhile, lower Majeakgoro, upper Majaekgoro, Mountain View, and Sekhing, routine maintenance would be conducted on the canals by the Vaalharts Water Scheme, where the water supply would be affected from September 16 to 20.

Sethlogomi said that Pampierstad has been without water for the whole week.

Residents in Jan Kempdorp also complained about water cuts this week.

“All three clinics in Pampierstad were closed on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the water was only restored to sections of Pampierstad. We will approach the Human Rights Commission to file a complaint because the provision of water is a basic right,” said Sethlogomi.

He pointed out that Phokwane Local Municipality owed Sedibeng Water in the region of R110 million.

“Residents were only informed about the water cuts on Tuesday, September 21, whereas the notice from Sedibeng Water indicated that there would be water interruptions from September 16 to 20. No contingency plans were put in place to distribute water to affected areas with water tankers.”

The spokesperson for the Northern Cape Department of Health, Lulu Mxekezo, said on Wednesday that the department had immediately dispatched the works inspector to assess the situation after it was reported that there was no water at the Pampierstad community health clinic, the Eleanor Nomimi Mothibi Clinic and Sakhile Clinic in Pampierstad.

“The inspector discovered that someone switched off the water power pump, which interrupted the water supply. The water supply was restored on Tuesday night after the switch was put on,” said Mxekezo.

“The department views this in a very serious light because our health facilities are deemed a part of the national key points. The incident was reported to the police for investigation and prosecution and it will be treated as a criminal act.”

Mxekezo said that three state doctors, as well as a sessional doctor, provide medical care at the three facilities.

“Referrals to Hartswater are for patients with complicated conditions that require the next level of care and admission,” she added.

Phokwane Municipality did not respond to media enquiries.

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