The local clinic in Henneman in the Matjhabeng Municipality in the Free State has been closed for the last seven days since service delivery protests erupted in the area. Residents of Phomolong started protesting exactly one week ago over the lack of water.
Community leader Tseko Moloi says the municipality has not communicated why they have not had water for the last three months. “We thought the municipality would use the Ventersburg protest to address us on the matter but nothing has been done,” he says.
Moloi says the clinic was vandalised during the protests and has been closed ever since. Some community members have appealed to the protestors to allow the clinic to reopen.
Residents appeal to protestors to allow clinic to reopen
Pap Letsitsa was forced to fetch his blood pressure medication from a different clinic further away due to the closure. “I want to appeal to everyone who is joining the protest to please allow the clinic to operate because we need it. Although we need water we also need the clinic to function,” he says.
Executive Mayor Thanduxolo Khalipha says they are working on a solution to provide water to the area. “Matjhabeng is facing a challenge of dams with no water and we are having Ventersburg, Henneman, and Welkom which have no water. We are working on using tankers to provide to our people as a temporary measure. We have alerted the province,” he says.
Clinic operations affected by water supply
Meanwhile, the provincial health department has urged the community to protect their facilities. Spokesperson Mondli Mvambi says they are also engaging with the municipality about the water supply to the clinic.
“You’d remember that some people are given immediate treatment at the clinic and such requires water and with no water, it means such prescription should be delayed. We have requested the municipality to provide us with tankers,” he says. – Health-e Newa