Makhwaleni Village, near the Eastern Cape town of Lusikisiki, have been deprived
of a new clinic for years as the Amakhwalo Chief and the ward councillor
squabble over where it should be built.
Goniwe said disagreements between the community leaders about where the clinic
should be located are affecting villagers who depend on public healthcare
Transport a challenge
“A few years ago
during an Amakhwalo Traditional Council meeting it was resolved that the clinic
should be located at a piece of land near a mission [at the Good Hope Centre],”
he said. “However, the chief wants the clinic to be located closer to his
Goniwe had harsh
words for Chief Mpendulo Jiba whom he accused of not having the community’s
best interests at heart.
who asked to remain anonymous, said he has defaulted on his HIV treatment a
number of times because of the delay in the opening of the clinic.
“I was diagnosed
with HIV in 2010 while I was working in Durban. I was retrenched in 2015 and had
to come back home. There is no clinic back home where I can collect my
treatment. I am compelled to collect my medication from Lutshaya Clinic, which
is far from my location, or Lusikisiki Gateway in town. I have defaulted
on my treatment a number of times because I am unemployed and it’s a challenge
to get money for transport.”
Zolile Jiba said most Makhwaleni residents agreed that the clinic should be
near the mission because this was accessible to residents of the eight
locations of the Amakhwaleni Administrative Area.
People might lose their lives
“This case had been
dragging for a very long time and there were interventions by the Department of
Health. During the late MEC Sicelo Gqobana’s tenure it was resolved with
community members that the clinic should be situated next to the mission at the
Good Hope Centre. Contractors were sent by the department but were turned away
by the people from the traditional council.”
said the chief demanded that the clinic be located in Qhasa village, which is
closer to his homestead.
“I went to speak
with the chief in an attempt to resolve the matter but he does not want to
change his mind. I have run out of options as I have exhausted all
channels to help resolve the matter. My worry is that people will lose their
lives,” said the ward councillor.
Mpendulo Jiba said the land at the Good Hope Centre was not available, which is
why he had identified a new site and blamed the ward councillor for hindering
“A different site
was identified due to the unavailability of space at the Good Hope
Centre. The site was used by Eskom during the installation of electricity
in the area. However, the ward committee blocked the Department of Rural
Development and Agrarian Reform employees who were sent to secure the site,”
the chief said. - Health-e News
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