28 October 2017

New Alexandra clinic back on track

After months of obstacles, the new public health clinic in Alexandra is now expected to be ready by early next year.

New disciplinary measures, a beefed-up workforce and a solution to niggling underground water issues have brought the delayed construction of a new public health clinic in 4th Avenue, Alexandra back on track.

Months of delays, staff repeatedly arriving for work drunk, and muddy conditions making underground work impossible all contributed to the stalling of the much-needed facility – that is now expected to be ready by early next year.

No more delays

Construction company owner Ricky Pietersen said the fact that he was given powers to deal decisively with employees coming to work inebriated, means his team can now look forward to finishing the clinic without any more delays.

"So far I've dismissed three people and that has sent a message. The workers now know that if they receive three warnings for the same offence, they are gone," he said.

Among his obstacles was the underground water that made it impossible to lay down any structures below ground level.

"That has since been solved after we spoke to the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) who helped me with their machines and the expertise," Pietersen said.

He further highlighted he has beefed up his workforce to 25 employees. This will enable him to finish at least early next year so that the clinic will be ready for occupation.

The conduct of the site employees drew widespread criticism throughout Alexandra – a township severely plagued by unemployment.

A pressing issue

"It’s painful that some of us local people have been looking for work years, while others that have jobs are just playing around," said a disappointed community member.

Another challenge has been the recent downpours.

"Well that one, there is nothing we can do about it. We just have to push as hard as we can during dry days. That's why we have introduced some overtime incentives," said Thembi Skhosana, Community Liason Officer for the project.

The need to finish the clinic has become a pressing issue, particularly for those in need of the healthcare services the clinic will offer.

"Indeed we can't wait any longer. Remember Thoko Mngoma is also under construction, so the majority of people this side are flocking to the one clinic at 18th Avenue. The workload there is too much," said Maki Makunyane from the Clinic Health Committees. – Health-e News.

Image credit: iStock