About three years after building started at the Pelican Park integrated housing development, plans have finally been set in motion for a clinic in the area.
The announcement by the City of Cape Town’s health directorate comes after many residents raised concerns about the lack of health services in the area (“Battle to access health care”, Southern Mail, 5 August 2015).
It was announced this week that the City is set to start the procurement process for the new clinic in the new financial year.
According to the City, the plans for the Pelican Park clinic has been on the cards for years. About R22.5 million has finally been secured for the project over the next two financial years – R7.4 million in the year starting Friday July 1 and R15.1 million in the 2017/18 financial year.
Siyabulela Mamkeli, the City’s mayoral committee member for health, said he was excited that the procurement process in the run-up to start the construction has started. “It has been a marathon… I’m under no illusion that there could well be delays, but I am hoping that we can minimise those delays and keep this project on track as far as possible,” said Mr Mamkeli. “The Pelican Park community has grown considerably in recent years as a result of the new housing development and the clinic is sorely needed, so I appeal to the residents to work with us so that we can get them the services they need as soon as possible” he said.
Previously, residents were unhappy with the City about their “lack of planning” with regards to health services in the area.
Residents make use of the satellite clinic, open from 8am to 4pm on Mondays and Wednesdays, after the City opened it, but community leader Laila Ryklief said the services are inadequate.
Residents were also referred to nearby clinics such as Klip Road and Lotus River.
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Lotus River Clinic has now, however, closed because of continuous vandalism, making it even harder for residents to seek medical help.
Ms Ryklief said those who moved to the new Pelican Park, from all over the peninsula, had been neglected.
“The City was ill prepared for the influx of people in Pelican Park. There are over 2 000 RDP houses and thousands of families who need medical attention.
“There are patients with chronic illnesses such as TB and other illnesses that can’t make it to the satellite clinic or the clinics in the other area,” she said.
She was, however, ecstatic about the news of the new clinic.
“It’s about time. My personal opinion is that the necessary facilities should have been built before the houses were even built. There was a shopping centre before there was even a hospital or school? What is more important?
“I am happy that our cries have finally been heard and that we will be getting the health services needed in Pelican Park,” said Ms Ryklief.
Pelican Park resident Shamiela Adam said the clinic will be a “beacon of hope”.
“All the residents in Pelican Park are grateful that they received housing. Our community is going to get the healing it needs, in more ways than one,” said Ms Adam.
Chairman for the Pelican Park Owners’ Association (PPOA), John Bailey said the clinic should have been built before the houses were built.
“The people of Pelican Park need this clinic. There are many elderly people and people who get sicker by the day who cannot get to the clinics outside of the area,” said Mr Bailey.
“The clinic will also act as a vital centre point to connect the different communities of Pelican Park and even Lotus River.
We are 100 percent in support of the building of the clinic,” he said.
Mr Mamkeli said because of the City’s financial constraints it becomes even more important that the public supports the City by taking ownership of their local facilities and guarding them against vandalism and other acts of criminality. “Every window, tap or broken door that needs to be replaced as a result of such wanton acts of destruction chips away at the funds that we do have to provide quality healthcare and facilities” said Mr Mamkeli.