Lodging a complaint with the Tshwane Department of Health’s regional office in Mabopane is nearly impossible as it lacks working computers, internet access and even door handles.
OurHealth recently visited the office and found it lacked computers, and was full of broken office equipment and doors without handles.
There are no signs on the building and security guards have to direct visitors to the main entrance where a dusty front desk is without a receptionist.
In order to find an official, visitors have to knock on closed doors only to be referred to another closed door somewhere else in the office.
The atmosphere is unwelcoming and, according to a visitor there, unhelpful.
“I don’t know who to talk to,” said Lazarus Thandzo, who was trying to lodge a complaint. “I feel like I’m being sabotaged by the officials I am trying to report to about the bad treatment I have been receiving at my local clinic.”
Officials in the office would not speak on the record, but also voiced their frustrations about the office. An administrative staff member said staff was expected to operate without working computers or Internet access.
She also said that while they regularly reported their challenges to the District Department of Health, they seldom got any responses. Requesting resources from the district office was an exercise in frustration, she added.
“We wait six months for stationery,” said one staff member. “Our office chairs and tables are old and broken, and haven’t been replaced for years.”
Multiple attempts to reach the Gauteng Department of Health for comment telephonically and via email were unsuccessful.