Desperate Mental Health Hospital Situation Needs Urgent Intervention by Public Protector

Its been over 15 years and South Africa’s most expensive mental health hospital, that is in our backyard, is still not fully capacitated to serve the people of Kimberly, Galeshewe and many other surrounding areas. 

As such I will refer this matter to the Public Protector for investigation.

Of its 287-bed potential, the hospital can only admit half the number of those patients. This, top management says, is due to a lack of funding for on-going operational expenses as well as staff and medical supplies.

This hospital, aptly dubbed a ‘monument of corruption’ was originally budgeted at R290 million. With construction dragging on for over fifteen years, costs have ballooned to over R2.4 billion of taxpayer’s money.

In a country that faces several on-going challenges in the mental health sector, it is unjustifiable for mental health patients in this province to struggle for services while R2.4 billion was spent on a state-of-the-art mental health hospital.

It is our firm belief as ActionSA that the hospital’s inability to operate and give full effect to its mandate directly owed to the deployment of corrupt cadres and officials in key state institutions, employed on the basis of political affiliation rather than skills and merit continues to undermine the development and growth of our province.

How much more must be thrown into this facility for it to fully serve its purpose? How much more must be squandered on this hospital while officials continue to enrich themselves.

We cannot afford to be bystanders while well-meaning projects that are meant to benefit the poorest of the poor and restore dignity for all, are blatantly hijacked by corrupt officials.