From the news desk

Vandals target Jooste hospital

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Residents in the Manenberg area say the GF Jooste hospital has become the recent hotspot for criminals and have expressed concern around their safety. The severely under-resourced hospital closed two years ago for an upgrade in order to better services to the surrounding area. Residents say the existing structure is now being taken apart piece by piece by vandals and drug addicts in the impoverished community. One resident told VOC News that the existing structure has been left without security to fend off criminals.

The hospital property, which is currently owned by the Department of Transport and Public Works, said it had a lapse in security at the hospital and only reinstated a new security company two weeks ago. The Department’s Head of Communications, Al-Ameen Kafaar said they had been aware of the concerns from residents.

“Security is still a big problem during the evening hours as it becomes quite dangerous. We have tried to limit people from gaining entrance to the building by closing up windows and doors but it is quite difficult to secure a site such as the GF Jooste Hospital,” Kafaar explained.

Kafaar said the department has not managed to quantify the types of damages. However, he added that it was the mandate of the Western Cape Department of Health to address concerns around the renovation and the current safety issues.

“We are aware that the building is being carried away piece by piece. It was imperative to get a security company on site as soon as possible,” Kafaar continued.

“The department of Health is still in discussion with Manenberg organisations, about the size of the hospital and a possible different site for the hospital. We are just basically the service provider in the delivery of government related infrastructure and services. The community and the department of health will have to work out the specification. Only once they have done that will the building process begin.”

The Western Cape Department of Health was unavailable for comment. VOC (Ra’eesah Isaacs)

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