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Activists to protest for repair and reopening of Charlotte Maxeke hospital

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Defend Our Democracy, a campaign urging South Africans to defend the constitution and democracy, will hold a picket to call for the speedy repair and reopening of the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital.

Under the banner “Fix and open Charlotte Maxeke Hospital now” the group wants people to gather at gate six of the hospital from 11am to noon on Sunday.

“Residents of Johannesburg, make your voice heard. Say no to corruption. Orange overalls for the corrupt! Enough is enough! Fix and open Charlotte Maxeke Hospital now!” is the message it has been spreading.

The hospital has not been fully functional for 10 months after a fire in the basement that caused extensive damage.

Repairs have stalled and almost a third of the hospital remains closed. This week the Gauteng health department attributed the delays to corruption.

Acting director-general Thabo Masebe said a Special Investigating Unit report had implicated senior officials in the Gauteng departments of infrastructure development and health.

Defend Our Democracy spokesperson Duduetsang Mmeti said people were invited to join the protest with their own posters and placards.

“Our aim is to call on the Gauteng provincial government to prioritise repairs at the hospital and ensure that the procurement processes related to the repair work are  transparent and corruption free,” she said.

Defend Our Democracy’s demands include: fixing and opening all units by the end of the year; improved safety for staff; a task team to monitor the progress of repairs, budgets and procurement processes; and the deployment of extra staff to surrounding over-burdened hospitals.

“We call on all residents of Johannesburg to make their voices heard. Charlotte Maxeke Hospital is their hospital and is needed by the people who cannot afford private health care,” said Mmeti.

Source: TimesLIVE

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