JB Marks: Multi-million Rand rehabilitation centre hidden

Issued by Gavin Edwards – DA North West Spokesperson on Health and Social Development
06 Dec 2019 in Press Statements

Note to Editors: Please find attached English and Afrikaans soundbites. 

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in North West will be writing to the Chair of Chairs of the North West Provincial Legislature, Mmoloki Cwaile, requesting him to convene a meeting between the Departments of Health, Social Development and Public Works to urgently address the delays in launching the JB Marks Treatment Centre.

While substance abuse figures continue to rise, the North West Provincial Government has made provision for only one rehabilitation centre in the province. This single access point for a population of 3.7 million has, since it was built in 2017, not assisted a single patient.

Despite the fact that the Treatment Centre has not admitted a patient since 2017, equipment worth thousands of Rands have been placed at the facility – unused. The warranties of at least 8 Speed Queen tumble dryers and washing machines have expired without washing a single item. See pictures here and here.

Industrial catering equipment has been delivered at the Centre, but not a single meal has been cooked. The equipment includes industrial fryers and industrial tilting braising pans. See picture here and here.

Staff are being paid monthly salaries with no patients to attend to. Instead, patients are treated in hospital and the Department of Health is billing the Department of Social Development per patient, which not only leads to unnecessary costs, but is also not providing patients with the specialised care needed.

This failure is a direct result of the collective failure of Departments of Social Development, Health and Public Works.

The Departments of Health and Social Development have not been able to sign a memorandum of understanding defining the medical, clinical and social services to be provided. The facility has not been able to obtain the services of a medical doctor and no provision has been made for medication or medical equipment.

The Department of Public Works has also contributed to this failed project. The facility has limited access to water, resulting in limited access to proper sanitation. This Department has not provided any constructive solutions to the water challenges.

We therefore call on MEC Boitumelo Moiloa (Social Development), MEC Madoda Sambatha (Health) and MEC Oageng Molapisi to urgently intervene by not only engaging in discussions, but to also take action against obstructive officials who have not only collapsed this project, but who have deprived the residents of the North West access to this vitally important centre.

Where we govern, the DA has spent more than R3.8 billion on capital infrastructure since 2009, which includes new district hospitals in Khayelitsha and Mitchell’s Plain in the Western Cape, an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) data centre to the value of R250 million and 11 newly built ambulance stations.

The DA has a track record of delivering services to the people and will continue to work around the clock to ensure that every citizen has access to proper healthcare.