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Speech by Mr Kenny Mmoiemang, on the occasion of the official Opening of the new PAKO SEBOKO Clinic-Mapoteng

Speech by the Honorable MEC for Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs, Mr Kenny Mmoiemang, on the occasion of the official Opening of the new PAKO SEBOKO Clinic-Mapoteng. John Taolo Gaetsewe District – Northern Cape, 12 May 2010: 09h00

Programme Director
All Kgosis and Traditional Leadership
Members of the 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 Gamagarra Local Municipality
All district and municipal 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

Good morning to all the people of Mapoteng. I am indeed very honored to be part of today’s important gathering in celebrating the official opening of the new PAKO SEBOKO Clinic here in Mapoteng.

As the ANC led government, in our efforts to provide and improve service delivery to our citizens, we are guided by principles of “Batho Pele- People first”. The people of Mapoteng are truly experiencing the spirit of “Batho pele” today. According to the Constitution in the Bill of Rights, Chapter two, it 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”.

In addition, the issues raised by communities in the build-up to the April 2009 national elections provided the basis for Health being prioritized as part of the five priority areas to which the ANC led government has committed to deliver on in the next five years. Based on this, the opening of this clinic is a direct response to the call of the people.In addition, government developed a Ten Point Plan to address the service delivery challenges faced by the health sector.

The construction of the new 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.

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, Condom distribution as well as health bursaries.

We have come to realize a moment that has been happily awaited by the people of Mapoteng. This is a very important development right here within and amongst the people. To this effect we will also be expanding the range of services that we will be providing to people through primary health care. Most of our clinics, including this one are being developed to provide a comprehensive package of health services. The services that will be provided here will be universally acceptable, accessible and quality will be assured. For us as the ANC led government we do not only seek to chase delivery targets without quality. Hence I am emphasizing this point of quality assurance.

The main health challenges in our province and country are TB and HIV/AIDS. TB is one of the major killers in our country. This is despite the fact that TB is curable. It is reported that some people do not want to take their medication. When you don’t take your treatment in the manner that you should, the TB you have may also become serious like MDR and XDR TB.

When we speak about TB it is important that we also speak about HIV and AIDS. We know that there is a close link between HIV and TB. This does not mean that every person who has TB is HIV positive. But if you are HIV positive you are very likely to have TB. However even in this case TB can be cured, it only means that you must take your medication.

Ladies and gentlemen, I thus appeal to you, as the community of Mapoteng, to work with your new clinic and to take advantage of the benefits that this facility brings here. It is your duty to make decisions regarding your health, and to understand the causes of illnesses. It is also your responsibility to lead a healthy lifestyle through healthy diet, regular exercise and by avoiding risky behavior such as smoking and alcohol abuse.

The new clinic opened here today was build at a cost of R7.5M and must be seen as a forward step to cost-effectiveness and sustainable integration of health services in this part of the province. The new clinic is within walking distance for the people and also includes accommodation facilities for health professionals in order to attract health workers to the district and ensure they have comfortable housing to render quality health services to our people. Other facilities include a waiting area, consultation rooms, kitchen, office and a pharmacy.

Programme director, I would like to conclude by reiterating the importance of community involvement and participation as well as the process of consultation. Government alone cannot do anything on their own. With your help and inputs, can the planning and the management of health services in your community be successful. We must get involve in local structures like clinic committees regarding health services and through this you can assist in the monitoring of the Batho pele principles and the Patients Charter Rights.

I want to say that this clinic belongs to all in Mapoteng. It is your responsibility as community members to take care of it and protect it from vandalism.

Ladies and gentleman, the new clinic is named in memory of Pako who was the son of Chief Seboko of Ellendale Village in Kuruman now called John Taolo Gaetsewe District. He was the heir of the chieftainships of the Batlharo Ba Ga Tokwana Tribe, which he never showed an interest at.

After leaving school, he worked for the mines. During that time, he also joined the Trade Union called National Union of Mineworkers (N.U.M.) which was and still affiliate of COSATU. He served as both the secretary and eventually the chairperson of N.U.M. Education Sub-committee respectively.

It was during the late 80’s that Pako started participating in politics including politics of A.N.C., although A.N.C. was still banned. N.U.M. a Trade Union for the mineworkers acted as a vanguard for its members and was underground highly involved in A.N.C. activities during the apartheid government/regime/rule while A.N.C. was still banned.

Because of the complex of the politics during that time, N.U.M. branches in all the mines were not only involved with employer/employees related matters but rather participated in the broader challenges that faced the communities in the rest of the country. As a representative of N.U.M., Pako attended the N.U.M. National Congress in 1989, which adopted the Freedom Charter as its policy and as well declared Rolihlahla Nelson Mandela as its honorary Life President, while Tata was still in jail then.

Pako as a dedicated, committed cadres, contributed his time to the activities of both his Trade Union and the movement respectively. After working hours, he offered himself by working tiredly in teaching his fellow workers and comrades in pursuant of eradicating the apartheid system. He was a very dedicated and discipline cadre, who would always avail his time to teach, lead, and guide his fellow workers during those trying times. His participations in communities worked were evident at Sesheng, Mothibistadt and Ellendale. His hobbies included playing football. He was an exceptional soccer player and a star. He played for Almighty Blacks in Mothibistadt and Sesheng United at Sesheng.

It is with great pleasure that I, on behalf of the ANC led government, now officially open the new Pako Seboko Clinic here in Mapoteng and I trust and hope the services here will meet your needs and expectations.

Working together, we can do more!
Thank you!!

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