SAHRC concerned about knock-on effect of water outages on Joburg hospitals

Yesterday, the commission's provincial manager Buang Jones visited the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital after reports that cancer patients were unable to receive treatment at the facility. With parts of Charlotte Maxeke destroyed by fire and other facilities relying on water trucks, Johannesburg's hospitals are in a critical condition.

The South African Human Rights Commission's Buang Jones. Picture Sethembiso Zulu/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) in Gauteng is expected to visit the Helen Joseph Hospital in Auckland Park on Wednesday.

The commission is holding site inspections at Joburg's health facilities following capacity complaints at poor facilities.

On Tuesday, the commission's provincial manager Buang Jones visited the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital after reports that cancer patients were unable to receive treatment at the facility.

With parts of Charlotte Maxeke destroyed by fire and other facilities relying on water trucks, Johannesburg's hospitals were in a critical condition. Gauteng hospitals are beginning to feel the pressure as resources are stretched, following a blaze in April that forced the closure of the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital. Meanwhile, a few kilometers away, the Helen Joseph and Rahima Moosa hospitals were facing debilitating water shortages.

The Human Rights Commission's Buang Jones was concerned about the knock-on effects of the water disruptions.

"One can only wonder what is the situation at Helen Joseph Hospital, but we are going to be visiting the facility to assess the situation for ourselves. We will also be engaging with the Joburg Water and Rand Water to see how this can be resolved and to see if the interim arrangements are reasonable and compliant with all the health and safety standards," Jones said.

Meanwhile, nonprofit organisation Gift of the Givers is expected to deliver water to healthcare facilities and surrounding communities on Wednesday.

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