Access to health care services is a basic human right as stipulated in South Africa’s Constitution. Yet, the community members of Mmakaunyana Village in Moretele are being stripped of these rights, which places their well-being under severe threat.

The Mmakaunyana Clinic in the North West is at the root of the problem. The multi-million Rand facility is standing at a standstill, forcing residents to make alternative arrangements.

Fed up residents

Lesego Ramotshidi* is distraught at waking up to yet another week and being told the facility has no electricity.

“We are in the third week now, and our families are struggling. We wake up each morning with the hope that maybe we can get help. But we are told there is no power and no backup generator,” said Ramotshidi.

The clinic has been operating for over two years now, and it’s not the first time they have experienced problems. It owes Eskom money as the rest of the country is plunged into darkness with load shedding

Another patient, Esther Letlhake*, requires chronic medication and fears she might default on her treatment. Currently not working, she doesn’t have the money to travel to the nearest clinic over 20km away in Gauteng. 

“I might default and die. Who will look after my grandchildren since I’m their primary caregiver? What is happening at the clinic isn’t fair. We were so happy at first when the Health MEC Madoda Sambatha promised us care. It will never happen now,” she added.

Health care services: Villagers' rights under threat

The multi-million Rand Mmakaunyane Clinic is not open with residents claiming it has no electricity. (Photo: Google – Kay-R Sefako)