The redevelopment of the old GF Jooste Hospital in Manenberg is well under way and residents can expect the new facility to be completed in 2020.
The project, which includes a brand-new hospital, youth centre and additional infrastructure, is part of the Manenberg Community Action Plan (CAP), signed by outgoing Western Cape Premier Helen Zille, Cape Town mayor Dan Plato and members of the Manenberg Steering Committee in November last year.
The hospital is to be renamed to Klipfontein Regional Hospital, due to the departmental policy of naming facilities after geographic areas, rather than the names of people.
MEC for Health, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, said the new hospital is intended to be a facility larger than even the Khayelitsha and Mitchell’s Plain district hospitals.
“This is in line with the projected healthcare demand for the broader Klipfontein area, leading into the year 2020.
“An ambulance base and emergency unit will also form part of the new Klipfontein Regional Hospital. The location of this facility will be a massive asset to the community and surrounds,” she said.
The facility will relieve pressure from the Khayelitsha and Mitchell’s Plain district facilities, which are experiencing a high demand for beds.
In its first phase, Klipfontein Regional Hospital will have 226 beds, which will increase to 594 beds by completion.
At the time of its closure, GF Jooste Hospital had been treating roughly 2 000 patients every month.
The hospital, which opened in 1976 and closed in 2013, also served the surrounding areas of Hanover Park and Gugulethu.
Aziza Kannemeyer, chairperson of the Athlone Community Police Forum, said the redevelopment of the hospital was good news, even though the facility had been due to be up and running a while ago.
“Currently we only have a few day hospitals and people on the Cape Flats have to travel to Groote Schuur or Somerset hospitals. This is a difficult and sometimes unaffordable task, given the current economic conditions of some communities on the Cape Flats,” she told Athlone News.
According to a statement by Mr Plato and Ms Zille, a major challenge in making this upgrade a reality, was the limited availability of suitable land in Manenberg to deliver major infrastructure.
“The most suitable property for a regional hospital was previously identified as the site on the corner of Duinefontein and Turfhall roads, which is currently occupied by Silverstream High and Sonderend Primary schools,” said the statement issued in November.
“The City of Cape Town believes the hospital will serve the greater Cape Town area and will reduce the burden on the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital and Groote Schuur Hospital, which are among the biggest hospitals in the city.”