After months of hard work, finally the ribbon was cut to officially unveil the District Six Community Day Centre (CDC) on Wednesday. Premier Helen Zille and Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo did the honours at the special event, attended by members of the District Six community.
The R104 million four-storey District Six CDC will provide a comprehensive primary healthcare package of services to a population of 70 000 from Woodstock, Salt River, Vredehoek, Bo-Kaap, the City Bowl, and other surrounding areas, as well as clients commuting into the CBD.
“This facility symbolizes a bridge in the rebirth of District Six. The significance that this community holds – not only for Cape Town as a city – but the entire nation, is well known. To be part of this historic occasion is indeed a great honour,” said Premier Helen Zille, who delivered the keynote address.
The new facility is built on the grounds of the historical Peninsula Maternity Hospital (PMH), which was established towards the end of World War I by the Cape Hospital Board as a training hospital specialising in midwifery. The hospital eventually closed its doors in 1992 to amalgamate with the Mowbray Maternity Hospital.
The Woodstock and Robbie Nurock Community Day Centres had previously serviced this community, before it was decided that these would merge into this new state-of-the-art facility. This new facility forms part of the Province’s R5.6 billion spend on health infrastructure since 2009 – R3.8 billion on new and replacement infrastructure, and R1.8bn on maintenance.
The District Six Community Day Centre offers a comprehensive package of services, including: child health services, women’s healthcare (including antenatal and post-natal care), treatment of tuberculosis through the short-course known as DOTS, treatment of HIV/ AIDS with anti-retrovirals, treatment of sexually-transmitted infections, medical male circumcision, curative and preventative oral health services, dietetic services, radiography services, and dispensing of medicine for chronic conditions.
“Today is also a sad day, in that we would’ve preferred to be opening this facility – delivered within the Province’s healthcare mandate – alongside a completed land reform process in District Six – the responsibility of the national government,” said Premier Zille.
“These claimants are not yet able to enjoy this state-of-the-art healthcare facility on their doorsteps. If we go back to 2011, former president, Jacob Zuma, said that all District Six claimants would be returned to the area by 2014. It is 4 years after 2014, yet the redevelopment of the area remains incomplete and more than 1000 claimants are still waiting to be returned to their homes,” said Zille, who also cited community conflict and contractor delays as problems with the restitution process.
The main contractor responsible for phase 3 of the redevelopment – had their contract terminated in March by the national government, after being put on terms for extensive delays and poor workmanship. The national Department of Rural Development and Land Reform is responsible for the restitution process and the redevelopment of the area.
“If there was one thing I would’ve wished to see by the end of my term as Premier, it was a flourishing District Six. We hope the District Six CDC will catalyse the redevelopment of the area, and we hope that work will be resumed soon following the many delays,” said Zille.