Public services provided by government, like clinics, are open on weekdays only and closed on weekends. In the 1970s and 1980s, the Mfidikoe Village (near Rustenburg) was never taken care of by the corporates who were operating here in those years.
It was only in the early 1990s, after South Africans saw themselves voting that we saw Anglo American company donate a clinic to the community of Mfidikoe. The donation was made out of their social labour plan and after we challenged Anglo American to do something, as the community didn’t have a health facility.
Today this clinic is under the government’s Department of Health, that is advocating for the health of the country. But this clinic has never worked seven days a week. The clinic only works a five-day week, even while South Africa is facing the COVID-19 pandemic, and community’s needs’ of healthcare.
My concern is that the North West province is potentially an epicenter of COVID-19, especially since the mining industry started operating again. We even saw on eNCA news that one of the Sibanye Stillwaters Shaft, about 7kms from the village, was closed due COVID-19. Most of these employees are backyard-room renters here in Mfidikoe village. Now with the clinic being closed on weekends, if someone’s temperature is high, one of the symptoms of coronavirus infection, where will help come from?
As a community member and an activist of this village, I think the Department of Health should do something about how the clinic operates.
This article was submitted on 12 July 2020. You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and Karibu! Online (www.Karibu.org.za), and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.