Over three hundred and nineteen (319) locals from Matatiele are benefiting from the construction upgrade of the Khotsong TB Hospital. The project valued at over R436 million has become a pillar of hope for communities residing in and around the Matatiele area.
Once finished, the TB Hospital will result in a world class modern day hospital with over 120 beds together with staff accommodation covering an area of over 9,000m2. The project being implemented by the Coega Development Corporation (CDC) on behalf of the Department of Health (DoH) in the Eastern Cape (EC) has brought about much needed skills training and development in the area.
Since the start of the project, over ninety-six (96) local people have received Construction Education and Training Authority (CETA) accreditation. Most of the training specialised in technical work, brick laying, plumbing, electrical cabling, painting, carpentry and pipe laying.
“Efforts behind providing training & development are meant to boost the skills level of the local community so that, people are equipped with skills that will sustain them post the construction life span of the project,” says Salim Mohamed, Director Infrastructure Programme Delivery Health Facilities Development & Maintenance Dep of Health Eastern Cape.
Furthermore, the project has set aside over R94 million in construction work for local Small Micro Medium Enterprises (SMME’s). Currently over fourteen (14) local (SMME) contractors have been awarded contracts worth a combined value of R8,1 million as of the second quarter of this year.
As one of the social and economic objectives of the project, candidate technical professionals with formal tertiary qualifications are employed as interns by the main contractor in order to acquire practical workplace experience on the site. Currently eight (8) interns are employed on the project all coming from the local community. With a target of fourteen (14) interns as the project progresses.
“This internship programme has already yielded success as one of the contractors has offered fulltime employment to one of the interns as their Health and Safety officer,” concludes Mohamed.