More than 20 clinics in the Eastern Cape are without electricity‚ Health MEC Phumza Dyantyi has revealed.
The Times reports that of the 23 clinics completely in the dark‚ the rural Alfred Nzo district is the hardest hit with 11 clinics yet to be connected to the grid. It is followed by OR Tambo with six clinics without electricity. The Joe Gqabi district has four clinics without electricity while Buffalo City Metro and Amathole each have one clinic without power.
All the clinics in the Nelson Mandela Bay‚ Chris Hani and Sarah Baartman districts have electricity.
The report says Dyantyi was responding to written questions from DA MPL Celeste Barker at the Bhisho legislature. She said the Fort Grey clinic near the East London airport had been without electricity for almost two years because of continued cable theft and vandalism by residents who are demanding that their homes be electrified.
Because the clinic’s electricity transformer had been vandalised two times already by residents‚ Eskom was reluctant to replace it again‚ Dyantyi said.
The report quotes health portfolio committee chair Mxolisi Dimaza as saying that it had visited some of the clinics and discovered that some did not even have working solar power systems. “We’re dealing with people’s lives here so this cannot be delayed any further hence the sooner the department meets with Eskom and Coega (regarding electrifying the clinics)‚ the better‚” he said.The Times report