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Sabotage suspected in hospital water cuts

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A service provider is being appointed by the Northern Cape Department of Health to investigate the allegations of sabotage

MEC of Health Mase Monnapule. Picture: Soraya Crowie

THE NORTHERN Cape MEC for Health, Mase Manopole, visited the Galeshewe Day Hospital yesterday following complaints about water cuts at the facility over the past two weeks.

Manopole yesterday raised suspicions of sabotage in regards to the water interruptions.

The MEC, however, disputed claims that the facility had been without water for the full two-week period, stating that there have always been contingency plans in place if there was a problem, while the service provider was also on standby to monitor the water supply in the on-site water tanks.

According to Manopole, the South African Nursing College had also raised concerns when the lack of water affected the clinical operations at the hospital.

She added that no patients had been referred from the day hospital due to the lack of water.

One patient in the maternity ward, Jeroline Erasmus, said that the interruption had not affected patients in the ward, adding that she had been able to bath on two occasions since she was admitted on Wednesday.

“I was admitted on Wednesday and gave birth to a bouncing baby girl at 2am today (Thursday). At no stage did the nursing staff make us feel like there was a shortage of water and we couldn’t wash,” said Erasmus.

Another patient, Disebo Boikanyo, said that while she was aware of the water issue she had never been put under pressure by the staff.

“I did hear the sisters mention it upon my arrival at the hospital. But I delivered my baby girl without any concerns or challenges as the sisters never made us feel the pressure of water shortages,” said Boikanyo.

A service provider is being appointed by the Northern Cape Department of Health to investigate the allegations of sabotage.

A full report on the outcomes of the investigation is expected to be submitted to the MEC.

The director of infrastructure at the Department of Health, Mawabo Ntolisi, took the MEC on a tour around the facility to show her that the water had been restored.

Touring the reservoir tanks, Ntolisi gave the assurance that a leaking pipe has been fixed and that an additional pipe was installed as a stand-by.

Manopole promised to engage with the security manager in order to beef up security at the facility while the matter is being investigated.

Organised labour also promised to engage on the outcome of the report and to work together with the department to address the issues, without any unnecessary unrest.

Manopole said that the subsequent report would determine the need for consequence management.