The residents of Slovoville, some 45km west of Joburg were in a jubilant mood - ululating, screaming and singing - as the Executive Mayor Parks Tau and First Lady Bongi Ngema- Zuma opened the newly built Slovoville Clinic on Tuesday 25 March.
The opening of the R16 million state-of-the-art clinic will enable the 8000 residents of Slovoville to access primary health services at their door step. Members of the community used to receive medical attention from a small container clinic that has now been closed.
Many would have to travel as far as Coronation or Leratong hospitals to seek help as the container could not accommodate the high volume of people that would visit the clinic daily.
Executive Mayor Mpho Parks Tau described the clinic as “the best clinic in the entire city of Johannesburg”, adding that other similar clinics would follow.
The mayor awarded the first lady a certificate from the City after she gave a lecture about the Bongi Ngema Zuma Foundation which she chairs, and the passion she has for educating people about diabetes. According to the mayor, the clinic meets the standards of the National Health Insurance Scheme.
The mayor said the need for the clinic was identified by MMC Nonceba Molwele after she had visited the container clinic unannounced. She was told that the clinic closed at 2pm because staff members, who were from Senaonane Clinic, had to go back to their posts in Senaoane.
The clinic is named after ANC stalwart Joe Slovo who was the first Minister of Housing in the democratic South Africa. Co-incidentally Slovoville was born in 1995, the same year he passed on.
The South African Police Service (SAPS) brass band and Johannesburg Metro Police Department officials played the national anthem as the national flag and the City of Johannesburg flag were hoisted on the premises.
Sister Naomi Mogoane, Manager of the clinic was delighted to take the dignitaries on a tour of the new clinic. She told the dignitaries that the new clinic boasts 21 consulting rooms compared to the two that were used in the containers.
Ntombi Ximba, a 55 year old resident and health promoter of Ijozi Ihlomile, the NGO under the Department of Health in the City, led the dignitaries to the vegetable garden in the clinic, where they have already started ploughing vegetables. She said she was happy with her involvement in the development.
“I am happy to have the opportunity to plough vegetables in the new clinic. I struggled to look after my two kids after losing my husband in February last year, but now I am able to put food on the table. With the R10 that I would have previously used to buy only tomato and onion to cook for one night, I can now buy seeds and plough them to feed my family and even sell what’s left,” added Ximba.
After the official opening, the SAPS brass band and the JMPD and EMS officials marched in front of the dignitaries with the community singing and ululating to the park behind the clinic as the mayor continued with his community engagements.
Community members were delighted to now have their world class clinic and they sang praises about their ever willing to assist and hardworking ward councilor Busisiwe Radebe.
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