Charlotte Maxeke Hospital repairs marred by criminals looking for scrap metal

The Department of Health says that despite strategies to speed up repairs and refurbishment of Charlotte Maxeke University Hospital in Johannesburg, the process is hampered by crime.

FILE: Charlotte Maxeke Hospital after a fire on April 17, 2021. Photo: Twitter @GautengHealth

JOHANNESBURG — According to the Department of Health, despite strategies to speed up repairs and renovations at Charlotte Maxeke University Hospital in Johannesburg, the process is hampered by crime.

Parktown Hospital’s emergency unit was due to be operational again at the end of April after closing its doors almost a year ago after a fire.

The continued delays contradict assurances given by the Gauteng government since April last year.

Health Minister Joe Phaahla said the theft of equipment from the facility has only made the hospital’s problems worse.

“At the time of the patient evacuation, somewhere in between, there were people who came to rip out railings and other equipment for scrap.”

Hospital CEO Gladys Bogoshi said at least three people, including employees, were arrested for theft and vandalism.

“We have plenty of copper and steel available. We installed CCTV cameras, even in areas we shouldn’t have and that’s how some of these people were arrested.

Repair work was being carried out through the national department of health while several other donors, including the Development Bank of South Africa and Gift of the Givers, were helping to speed up the process.

Lillian L. Pena