Mining activities and two large industries, Transnet and Camden Power Station, has attracted tens of thousands of people from surrounding farms, provinces and countries looking for work.
But health services and facilities here have not increased along with the population.
There are only a handful of health facilities servicing an estimated 256 000 people living there. The population of Ermelo has only one public and one private hospital, one TB hospital and three clinics. However, few people have access to private health facilities due to high level of poverty in the region.
There are also three mobile clinics servicing the farming communities in the municipal area. But mobile clinic services are only available once a week, and the rest of the time people are forced to travel to Ermelo – which is far and expensive – to access health services.
On average, clinics in the region service around 150 people a day, and facilities become very crowded. Although the clinics only open at 7am, people start queuing as early as 4am to ensure they will be serviced before closing time. – OurHealth/Health-e News Service
Senamile Phungula in an OurHealth Citizen Journalist reporting from the Gert Sibande health district in Mpumalanga.