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Still no answers on abandoned Kempton Park hospital

The Kempton Park Hospital has been left to slide into decay after it was abandoned 17 years ago.

The Kempton Park Hospital closed its doors the day after Christmas in 1997 with millions of rand worth of equipment locked inside and there's still no clear explanation why. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - As Gauteng's ailing health system battles with repeated staff, equipment and bed shortages, a multi-million rand facility has been left to slide into decay after it was abandoned 17 years ago.

The Kempton Park Hospital closed its doors the day after Christmas in 1997 with millions of rands worth of equipment locked inside and there's still no clear explanation why.

Today, there's not much left inside the hospital, with most of the equipment stolen over the years.

There's no electricity, the rooms are empty, the ceilings have been ripped out, there are broken windows and doors and thousands of confidential patient files litter the floors.

Security guards are paid monthly to look after the abandoned building with taxpayers' money that some believe could be better used to help other hospitals in desperate need of equipment.

The Democratic Alliance's Jack Bloom says the decision to close this hospital was a bad one.

"They said this hospital was underutilised. I think it was a very big mistake because we have seen a growth in the population and these hospitals are very necessary."

Guards at the abandoned facility say about 50 people arrive there on Friday and Saturday nights to look for ghosts, believing the hospital is haunted. For a fee, they will guide curious members of the public through the hospital.

Empty surgical theatres and broken x-ray machines lend an eerie air to this once prestigious facility.

There's no official plan to reopen it at this stage.