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Kwa-Thema clinics in trouble after transformer burns

By Doreen Mokgolo

As the residents of Kwa-Thema in Ekurhuleni are entering their eighth day without electricity, local clinics are forced to prioritise emergency cases.

The Kwa-Thema main substation caught fire in the early hours of last Thursday morning, leaving the township in the dark. The cause of the fire is still unknown.

The damage has not only left residents in the dark and cold, but has also affected local businesses and five clinics.

Many of their functions, including vital sign monitors and patient monitors, sonars, refrigerators used to store medication and other medical equipment, cannot be operated without electricity.

The water supply is also affected, making the bathrooms unsuitable for the use of staff and patients.

An employee at one of the clinics in the area, who asked not to be named, told Scrolla.Africa that the situation at the clinic is dire.

“The Metro has stopped supplying municipal clinics with diesel, which is meant to be used during load shedding.

“We have since run out of diesel which many of the functions depend on, especially during power outages.

“Without any source of power the water supply is interrupted, and neither refrigerators used to store medication nor computers used for filing are operational,” she added.

Chronic patient Maria Mabaso said she was turned back from the clinic when she went for her routine check-up.

“I have uncontrolled high blood pressure which requires monitoring. Without the recording of my vitals, my health is at risk.

“I sometimes fear sleeping at night since I might die in my sleep, because I don’t know where my health is at the moment,” she added.

Ward 77 councillor Thulani Dunjana said they are exploring various temporary measures to restore power to the area.

“The affected clinics will be supplied with water tanks until power is restored,” she added.

Ekurhuleni spokesperson Zweli Dlamini said technicians continue to work on restoring power throughout the township.

“We are appealing to the members of the community to be patient and allow officials to do their work,” he added.

Pictured above: Kwa-Thema main substation burned down

Image source: Doreen Mokgolo