Modern, Growing, Successful Province

Sod-Turning of the new Williston Community Health Centre(CHC)

18 January 2011

Speech by the Honorable MEC for Health, Mr. Mxolisi Sokatsha, on the occasion of the Sod-Turning of the new Williston Community Health Centre(CHC). Williston, Namaqua District – Northern Cape, 18 January 2011: 09H00

Programme Director
Members of the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature
Members of the Executive Council
Chairperson and Members of the Provincial Portfolio Committee on Health
Honorable Executive Mayor of Pixley-ka-Seme District Municipality
All Honorable Mayors of Municipalities
All Municipal Councillors
Esteemed guests
Senior Managers, District managers and Departmental officials from the Provincial Department of Health
All NGO’s and strategic partners
Representatives from all the different communities, religious and political institutions and structures
Esteemed Members of the media
Ladies and Gentlemen

Today marks yet another significant milestone in our quest to improve service delivery to our people, as we assemble to lay the first brick and handover the site for the construction of the new De Aar Hospital.

As government, we are guided by the Constitution: Chapter 2, the Bill of Rights, the “Batho Pele- People first” principles and the Health related Millennium Development Goals(MDG) with 2014 as the target date. The Constitution in the Bill of Rights, Chapter two, clearly states that: “Everyone has the right to have access to health care services, including reproductive health care and no one may be refused emergency medical treatment”.

The “Batho Pele-People first” principles guides government in terms of service delivery to our people and it is our duty to ensure that these principles of consultation, access to services, openness and transparency, quality of services etc are adhered to and upheld.

The MDG’s serve as markers of the most basic challenges ahead relating to health are: to stop women from dying during pregnancy and child birth, to protect young children from ill-health and death, and to tackle the major communicable diseases, in particular HIV/AIDS. It will only be through partnerships between government, business, labour and civil society that we will be able to achieve these goals by 2014.

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 De Aar Hospital 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.

Ladies and gentlemen, I want to take this opportunity to quote His Excellency, Mr Jacob Zuma, President of the country, in his State of the Nation Address on 11 February 2010 who stated that: “We will continue to improve out healthcare system. This includes building and upgrading hospitals and clinics and further improving the working conditions of healthcare workers”. Today, as the ANC led government, we are adhering to the call of our President with the laying of first brick and the handover of the site for the new De Aar Hospital.

The new De Aar hospital will be constructed at a cost of R350M over a three year period starting October 2010. A full range of Level 1 services (52 beds), Level 2 services(27 beds) and 21 Step down beds will be provided which among others will include surgery, gynaecology, paediatrics, ophthalmologist, doctors, dentistry, trauma, emergency, oral, mental, pharmaceutical, physio, EMS etc). Accommodation will be available for drug resistant TB (63 beds) inpatients for the area. Level 1 referrals from the surrounding clinics and CHC’s will also be done at the hospital which in turn will lead to a reduction in referring Level 1 and Level 2 cases to Kimberley. Staff accommodation at the hospital will also be available to attract the necessary personnel.

The construction of the new hospital will contribute towards boosting the economy of the region in terms of job creation for our local people which in turn will lead to much needed income for poverty stricken households. We call upon all to avail them and make use of job opportunities that will arise during the construction of the new hospital.


Ladies and gentlemen, the main health challenges in our province are TB and HIV/AIDS. TB is one of the major killers in our province and our country. TB, coupled with the HIV and AIDS prevalence is spreading at an alarming rate through our communities with an increased number of people contracting TB coupled with patients not completing and faulting on their medication. This is despite the fact that TB is curable. When you don’t take your treatment in the manner that you should, the TB you have may evolve in more serious forms of TB like MDR and XDR.

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.

Know your status, get tested.

Ladies and gentlemen, today is a reflection of how government is continuously working towards the improvement of our people’s lives and bettering specifically healthcare service delivery. We need the new hospital to be an inspiration to the children and the youth of Pixley-Ka-Seme for them to aspire to be nurses and doctors like those who will be coming here to provide essential and vital health services. The people of Pixley-Ka-Seme must be proud the day they are treated by a doctor that was born and bred in this district. There are many opportunities for the youth in the health sector through bursaries and as a province we need doctors, nurses, paramedics etc.

In conclusion, it is with great honour, pride and enthusiasm that we officially hand over the site and lay the first brick for the construction of the new De Aar Hospital.

Working together, we can do more!

Thank you!

Dankie!

Enkosi!

Realeboga!

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