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THE 300-bed, triple-storey Jabulani Hospital in Soweto will be handed over to the Gauteng health department in September, alleviating pressure on clinics and on the only government hospital in the township, the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.

On 8 June Gauteng MEC for infrastructure development Bheki Nkosi embarked on a site inspection of the almost completed R665.7-million facility, which is located opposite Jabulani Mall and a stone’s throw from the newly opened Soweto Theatre. The building still lacks lifts, lights and some window frames.

Wearing a yellow hard hat, the MEC toured the dusty building, inspecting all the vital areas. He was even taken to the mortuary, which some of the officials who accompanied him were reluctant to enter. The MEC, however, went in and tested the equipment.

Nkosi said the hospital should not be seen in isolation from other health facilities in the township. “This is a little contribution that we make as the department of health and infrastructure development towards a healthy population, particularly in Soweto,” he said.

He described the facility as the major project undertaken by the province’s department of infrastructure development. “Our aim is to deliver world-class facilities in health, education and other social amenities that speak to our vision of creating a smart province which is a globally recognised.”Nkosi said the provision of social infrastructure contributes to economic development and his department had contributed to changing the face of Soweto.

“Together with the City of Johannesburg, our provincial government has contributed quite a lot in terms of infrastructure and over the past 10 years we have seen Soweto gradually change into a suburb,” he said. The new hospital would contribute to this improvement.

Nkosi spoke about the challenges and obstacles the project had faced, involving contractors and the late payment of workers, and expressed his delight that it was finally coming to fruition.

Once the hospital is handed over to the health department in September it will be equipped with state of the art medical equipment.

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