Northam Booysendal Mine handed over a fully-fledged state of the art clinic to the community of Kiwi outside Lydenburg on April 8. The clinic is a result of a public-private partnership between Mpumalanga Department of Health, Booysendal Mine, Booysendal Community Trust and the Thaba Chweu Municipality (TCM).
The ceremony was held under strict covid-19 regulations; those who attended the ceremony included the likes of MEC for health in Mpumalanga Sasekani Manzini, TCM ’s mayor Friddah Nkadimeng, management from Northam Booysendal Mine, Bakoni ba Phetla tribal authority, Booysendal Community Trust and members of the community.
The new Kiwi clinic gives residents, access to a full range of primary healthcare services right on their doorstep. Previously, residents travelled for about 40 kilometres to access the closest clinic. They also relied on a mobile clinic which came at the village once a month.
“The department’s focus is to reach the people where they reside before they become critically sick. Patients should use their local clinics for minor ailments. The Department is also working tirelessly to improve our clinics so that patients go to clinics instead of hospitals” said MEC Manzini.
“We will work with the community to form a clinic committee. We plead with community to treat health professionals with dignity and nurses should also treat community members with decorum. Don’t abuse resources,” pleaded Manzini.
The MEC added that community members should work together with health professionals in preventing lifestyle related diseases by living a healthy life.
“Community members should take pride in the clinic as it will bring relief as they would not have to waste money and travel long distance to access health care. It will boost primary health care in the province, alleviate accessibility to health care and contribute to the reduction of long queues and waiting times”, concluded Manzini.
While the centre is bringing the much needed healthcare to a community in need, the provision of the clinic is in line with Booysendal mine and the community trust’s mandate which is to improve health, education and infrastructure locally.
The project forms part of the Northam Booysendal Social and Labour Plan (SLP) programme. “As a company that believes in sustainable partnerships for the future, we are proud to have invested in this clinic.
“This project demonstrates how building public and private partnerships can improve the lives of local communities,” said Northam Booysendal South‘s mine manager Peter Kriel.
He added, “This project undertaken by the mine, the trust and other stakeholders has been done in close partnership with the Mpumalanga department of health and the community, as these are ultimately the beneficiaries of improved health.
“This clinic will provide health care to communities who travelled long distances to access nearby clinics. Health is key; the clinic is for the benefit of Kiwi people and the surrounding communities.”
He urged locals to take care of the clinic and to cherish it. “Please take good care of the facility, its surroundings and equipment. In future, we wish to celebrate the clinic’s anniversaries.”
TCM’s mayor Nkadimeng said he was thankful of the donation. “Booysendal is one of the local mines assisting the government in delivering services to the people. They recently handed over a road in the Lydenburg area.
“ I am pleased that this project was done by a local contractor and the locals in Kiwi also benefitted with employment opportunities during the construction.”
Chairperson of Booysendal Community Trust, Sydney Mpipi said Booysendal had previously invested in various projects. “We have students that were sponsored by the mine; one is currently finishing his qualification in medicine.”
Mpipi also advised the government to take care of the building, its equipment and facilities.
The Kiwi Clinic offers a range of services covering reproductive health, maternal (antenatal and postnatal) health, women’s health, youth and child health (including immunisation), HIV and AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, tuberculosis, management of acute illness, management of chronic conditions, health promotion and emergencies and more services.
The project was spearheaded by Mr Innocent Ramutloa – Stakeholder Engagement Manager at Northam Booysendal Platinum, who also mentioned that it was not easy to finally complete the construction of the clinic, but with the support of local government and all other stakeholders it was made possible, and would also like to thank everyone that contributed towards the achievement of this Milestone.