Hospital upgrade benefits more than 300 people

More than 300 people have benefitted from the upgrade of the Khotsong TB Hospital in Matatiele in the Eastern Cape.

Once finished, the TB Hospital will be a world class, modern hospital with over 120 beds together with staff accommodation covering an area of over 9000m2.

The construction project was implemented by the Coega Development Corporation (CDC) on behalf of the Department of Health in the province and has brought about much needed skills training and development in the area.

“Since the start of the project, over 96 local people have received Construction Education and Training Authority (CETA) accreditation,” Coega said in a statement.

Most of the training specialised in technical work, brick laying, plumbing, electrical cabling, painting, carpentry and pipe laying.

“Efforts behind providing training and development are meant to boost the skills level of the local community so that people are equipped with skills that will sustain them post the construction life span of the project,” the Director of the Infrastructure Programme Delivery Health Facilities Development and Maintenance Department of Health Eastern Cape Salim Mohamed said.

Coega said the project, which is valued at over R436 million, has become a pillar of hope for communities residing in and around the Matatiele area.

The project has set aside over R94 million in construction work for local Small Micro Medium Enterprises (SMME’s).

“Currently, over 14 local SMME contractors have been awarded contracts worth a combined value of R8.1 million as of the second quarter of this year,” Coega said.

As one of the social and economic objectives of the project, candidate technical professionals with formal tertiary qualifications are employed as interns by the main contractor in order to acquire practical workplace experience on the site.

Eight interns from the local community are employed on the project. The project has a target of 14 interns as it progresses.

“This internship programme has already yielded success as one of the contractors has offered fulltime employment to one of the interns as their Health and Safety officer,” Mohamed said. – SAnews.gov.za