You are here: Home Latest Developments Media Centre Speeches Address by mec for health dr magome masike at the sod turning ceremony for bethanie clinic held in partnership with xstrata mines

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Address by mec for health dr magome masike at the sod turning ceremony for bethanie clinic held in partnership with xstrata mines

Programme Director, Executive Manager for Bojanala District Health Services, Ms Mmule Rakau, Esteemed Executives from Xstrata Mines, Rustenburg Sub-district Manager, Mr Lawrence Tlhowe, Other Local Area  Managers present, Officials of the Department, Distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen,

Dumelang Bagaetsho,

I am honoured today to come here and join you for the official sod turning of the Bethanie Clinic. We have strong partnerships with the private sector and Mines in particular in this municipality and it shows we share a passion for the well being of our communities.

We carry with us a vision for “A long and healthy life for all South Africans” in which we commit to Increase life expectancy, to decrease maternal and child mortality, to combat HIV and AIDS and decrease the burden of disease from TB and to strengthen health system effectiveness. Ladies and gentlemen this vision will never be fully realized unless we all commit to make it a reality. Today is a demonstration that we are all committed to this vision and ideal. It shows it is not just left to government to deal with it but that the private sector is equally committed and want to improve the health profile of our communities.

The African National Congress (ANC) led government has since 1994 made a commitment to accelerate health service delivery and to improve the lives of people for the better. If we look back from since 1994, we can all agree that a lot has been done in terms of infrastructural development. We built clinics in multitudes particularly in rural communities. But we also need to admit that there is still more to be done. Not all our people have access to health care services nearer to where they live. Moreover, some of the facilities have aged over the years and are in dire need of structural and general material refurbishment.

We continue to do more as we strive to fulfill our commitment and promises to the people. The ANC government is one that commits itself and delivers accordingly but we cannot do it alone.

The construction of the new clinic on this site, I would say, will not just be a delivery of mortar and bricks. It spells out a sense of hope of a healthy community for the communities of Bethani in particular.

It is important that in the process of construction local people must receive preference for employment. We also remain firmly bias in reducing the gender discrepancy in employment, it is now accepted that if you want to create sustainable families, women must also be employed.

As a government we remain committed to taking services and development to our people. We further believe that the destiny of our people is in their own hands. Hence the freedom charter states, “the people shall govern.”
It is important that we have our local people who will forever remain committed to work amongst our communities. Without the people capable of delivering the quality care and services our people expect, we will not be able to get maximum value.

We have a mandate to provide quality health care services for our people. We need to work extremely hard to make sure that our people, majority of who have been previously disadvantaged have increased access to health care services. I am talking about a Constitutional right to health care and a basic human right that is one of the pillars of the Human Rights Charter.

We have always emphasized that the ideals of the Freedom Charter can never be attained by the ANC led government alone. So, I see this development as another milestone occurrence in our partnership with the Mines. In all our endeavors, we have always called for multi sectoral partnerships. With multi sectoral partnerships we envisaged an approach to service delivery that is collaborative by bringing together the private sector, government, Non-Governmental Organizations, Faith Based Organizations, labour, tribal authorities and all civil society formations for a common purpose of improving the conditions of our communities. We talked about “better life for all” South Africans and this ideal was never going to materialize unless we come together to make multi sectoral collaboration a reality.

We went further to make partnerships one of the critical and priority areas in Government’s Ten Point Plan. One of the key priorities under the Ten Point Plan is therefore the Provision of Strategic Leadership and Creation of a Social Compact for Better Health Outcomes which is aimed at ensuring that there is unified action across the health sector and that there is appropriate planning involving all health stakeholders, our communities, governance structures, the private sector and leaders in the health sector.

To see the mining sector coming out to want to develop our communities is really pleasing to me and it is an indication that you understand our strategic intention when we call for social compact and partnerships. We are beginning to witness immense participation of all relevant stakeholders within the broader Public Private Partnership ideal and today is testimony to the progress we are making.

I truly believe our successes in the Mass Campaign for HIV Counseling and Testing (HCT) is a good example of what multi sectoral partnerships can do. We worked together and got majority of our people tested for HIV so that they may be informed of their status and take appropriate action.

As the North West Province, we have huge infrastructure backlog and we need the private sector and in particular the mining sector to be on board and invest in development of health infrastructure in the Province. By so doing, we will be investing in the health of our nation and a healthy nation is a productive nation.

Government is concentrated on improving health conditions in the rural areas within the broader programmes of Primary Health Care (PHC) Re-engineering and Rural Development. It means we need to see more of our rural facilities in good state and that takes refurbishment of old ones and building new ones where we feel the older ones needs to be demolished. So, I want to appreciate the good gesture and commitment shown by Xstrata Mines here today.

Since I joined the Department of Health, I took the initiative to visit all our health facilities in the North West Province, prioritizing rural facilities. On my first visits, I was immediately confronted by a state of despair when I witnessed for myself some of our clinics which were dilapidated. I then realized why we have been struggling to keep the poor nurses in rural areas and one of the reasons is that the conditions in which they work are not bearable. We moved swiftly to address this challenge by renovating a lot of these clinics and we identified others that we may have to rebuild. We cannot do this alone. It is a tall order and we need partners.

As a people we also have a role to play to improve our health; if we live safely and responsibly we will also alleviate the pressure on government’s health resources so that it can invest such resources in the fight against poverty. There is a challenge of the spread of sexually transmitted disease (STDs) and Tuberculosis. This does not augur well for our management of the spread of HIV and AIDS. It also does not augur well for our families and the economy because HIV and AIDS are currently affecting particularly the youth.

Many of our people continue to die of Tuberculosis (TB) despite the fact that it can be cured. This is because people do not take their medication when they are supposed to. Again I believe that issues such as this can be overcome if we act together as communities.

The new clinic will help us when we are sick but we as individuals and community can prevent sickness from affecting us. We can also ensure that when we are sick we get cured. In short we must live healthy lifestyles.

Let us continue to work together to improve the health profile of our nation. Remember, we have the goal for a long and healthy life for all South Africans.

Working together we can do more!
I thank you!



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The Department derives its mandate from the following laws:
Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act, 108 of 1996
Provides for the rights of access to health care services and emergency medical

Healthy self reliant communities in the North West
To render accessible, equitable and integrated quality health

Batho Pele Principles, Patient Rights Charter, Victims Rights Charter, Children's Rights Charter, Disability Rights Charter, Older Persons Pledge, Public Service Principles, Accountability, Transparency, Community participation, Excellence, Caring, Human dignity & respect,Access

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