Lack of response angers the community anew

Community members waved placards during the previous protest action.

KAMHLUSHWA – Community members of Mdladla vandalised buildings being renovated on the clinic grounds and even looted a nearby shop of groceries and furniture on Monday night, because they were angry about the lack of feedback from authorities.

A memorandum was handed over to Ehlanzeni District chief health director Mr David Mdluli on October 6 after a march down the main street of the settlement, and the department had until last Thursday to respond.

The group was led by the Mdladla Youth Development (MYD) committee to raise residents’ concerns regarding the renovation of a clinic they say does not exist.

According to documents shown to this journalist, the R10-million project’s aim is to erect prefabricated structures and refurbish the KaMdladla Clinic. Community members say this is impossible, the structure’s contractors are working on is a community hall, and that there is no clinic in Mdladla.

Demands of Mdladla community members included the construction of a proper community health centre.

According to a MYD member,  the organisation made contact with Mdluli’s office and received feedback to say that the memorandum was received by the department and that it would respond to their memorandum in due course.

“The community members are angry that the department did not respond by deadline, they want a time frame and quicker action. We don’t want this thing to go back to bed, it is a burning issue in the local community,” he stated.

This is the second time these people have resorted to violence over this issue. During a protest action in August, they blocked a main road and clashed with police. Several were arrested.

Community members are urged not to resort to violence as this will lead to arrests, and in some cases criminal convictions.

The MYD hopes to involve other stakeholders, such as community organisations and local political parties, to aid them in its efforts for quality health-care services.

Retha Nel

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