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Mayor Tau hands over new clinic to Lawley community


For many years residents of the 60 000-strong semi-formal Lawley settlement, south of Johannesburg, had their primary healthcare needs attended to at a temporary healthcare facility housed in a shipping container.
This all changed yesterday (Thursday May 14) when Johannesburg Mayor Councillor Parks Tau officially unveiled a R5 million brick-and-mortar modern clinic at Eighth Avenue, Lawley Extension 2. Thousands of residents crammed into the marquee, pitched opposite the new clinic, to witness the game-changing event.

Mayor Tau said by opening the clinic to the public, the City was putting Dr Health “in the hands of the people”. He said the provision of a healthcare facility such as this was in line with the City of Johannesburg’s vision of creating sustainable communities. Mayor Tau said in Johannesburg more blacks died early in their lives than whites.

He said research had also shown that most ill people in the city were suffering from lifestyle diseases and conditions such as diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and cancer, which necessitated the need to engage communities in health education.

“Life expectancy in Joburg is reflective of the inequalities in our communities and is also informed by the colour of your skin,” he said.

Residents heard that almost 10 000 people migrated to Johannesburg every month, posing serious challenges for the City. The Mayor said, however, that despite these challenges, the City was committed to providing an improved and better life for its residents.

Dr Refik Bismilla, the City’s Director of Health, called on residents to look after their health.

“We need to decrease the number of people coming to our clinics by encouraging them to adopt a healthy lifestyle,” he said.

He said residents could achieve this by exercising, refraining from smoking, losing weight, stopping drinking too much and guarding against engaging in unprotected sex.

Member of the Mayoral Committee for Health and Social Development Councillor Nonceba Molwele urged the community to see the clinic as their own asset and guard it jealously.