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Sod-Turning of the new Deerham Clinic

Speech by the Honorable MEC for Health, Mr Mxolisi Sokatsha, on the occasion of the Sod-Turning of the new Deerham Clinic. Deerham, John Taolo Gaetsewe District – Northern Cape, 02 November 2010: 10h00
Programme Director

All Kgosis and Traditional Leadership

Speaker of the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature

Deputy-Speaker of Northern Cape Provincial Legislature

Members of the Executive Council

The Chairperson and Members of the Provincial Portfolio Committee on Health

Executive Mayor of John Taolo Gaetsewe District Municipality

Mayor of Joe Morolong Local Municipality

All counselors present

Representatives from all the different community, religious and political institutions and structures present

Senior Managers and Departmental officials from the Provincial and District Department of Health

Members of the media

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

Today marks yet another significant milestone in our quest to improve service delivery to our people, as we assemble to turn the sod for the construction of the new Deerham Clinic. As the ANC led government of South-Africa, we engaged ourselves in the struggle for the development of our people and our country and we are continuing to improve the lives of all citizens of our beloved province and country.

Building new clinics, upgrading existing health care facilities, provision of personnel, equipment, medicine and transport, are all part and parcel of improving health service delivery in the province. The government has made a commitment to provide essential government services to our people, especially where services were lacking, non-existing or not accessible in communities like Deerham.

In this light we have combined the sod turning for the new clinic with the Ministerial Health Campaign the Department of Health has been embarking on since August 2010. We urge all present to access the free health services on offer today which include dental and eye clinics, blood pressure and sugar level testing, TB screening, HIV Counseling and testing as well as health bursaries.

In addition to building new clinics, government is working hard to improve the quality of care that is provided within all our health facilities.

Furthermore, as the ANC led government of South-Africa, we have an obligation towards the healthcare of our people. In this light, as a response to the call of our people during the April 2009 elections, Health has been prioritized as the one of the five key areas together with Crime, Education, Rural development and Job creation for the next five years. In addition, government developed a Ten Point Plan to address the service delivery challenges faced by the health sector.

The construction of the new Deerham Clinic is a direct response to Point 3 – Improving the quality of health services as well as Point six(6) – Revitalization of infrastructure of the health sector Ten Point Plan.

The building of the new clinic is not the sole responsibility of the Department of Health. The Department of Roads and Public Works and the Joe Morolong Local Municipality are key strategic partners in the process. The new clinic and health services and programmes will only be successful if solid partnerships are established between government, NGO’s and communities.

The construction of the new clinic will start early 2011 and completion is scheduled for March 2012. The total cost is estimated at R6M. Accommodation facilities for personnel will be included in the construction with the aim of attracting health professionals and providing adequate housing and living infrastructure for them to provide quality health services to our people.

One of the advantages for the community of Deerham with the building of the new clinic, will be economic in nature in the sense that the construction of this new clinic will provide necessary employment opportunities. The contractor will be required to use the local labour force in order for much needed income to be channeled to poverty stricken households. Furthermore, it will be for the first time that the community of Deerham will have a fully fledge clinic to access essential healthcare services.

The new clinic will belong to the people of Deerham. It is the responsibility of all community members to take care of and protect the new clinic from vandalism.

The ANC led government’s HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) Campaign is a direct response aimed at increasing our efforts to address the scourge of HIV and AIDS in our province and our country. This campaign is undertaken under the banner: “I am responsible...We are responsible... South Africa is taking responsibility”. We encourage everyone to take personal and collective responsibility to stop the spread of new HIV infections, provide care and support to those living with HIV and to ensure access to treatment for all people in need.HIV, AIDS and TB does not discriminate.

We are all exposed to these diseases and it is the responsibility of us all to contribute in our fight against these diseases. We call upon each and every one of you to support, attend and be part of these government and community programmes and initiatives aimed at intensifying and strengthening our combined efforts in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Our vulnerability to diseases is reflective of how we live. Many of us do not eat healthy, do not exercise regularly and abuse substances and alcohol. We call upon all to live healthy.

Know your status, get tested.

Programme director, community members and leaders has to play a key role in ensuring health service delivery is up to standard and that we commit ourselves to the call that working together, we can do more. Consultation, co-operation and support is key to the whole process. Furthermore, we call upon all in Deerham to start thinking of a name for the new clinic, so when we open the new clinic, it will have a name chosen by the people, for the people.

In conclusion, we take this opportunity to officially turn the sod of the new Deerham Clinic and I hope the community will after completion, preserve the facility with dignity and respect for now and future generations.

Working together, we can do more!

Thank you!




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