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 residents 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.
One of the workers benefiting from the project is a 29 year old single parent with two kids – Thandi Kahlulo from Njongoville in Matatiele.
“I’ve been involved in the project for little over three months. The experienced I have gained is irreplaceable. I have acquired skills such as bricklaying, laying down a foundation as well as how to build a house.”
“As a result of my hard work on site, I have managed to be appointed as a supervisor because of my determination to excel as well as to succeed,” adds Kahlulo.
“On a personal level, the project has assisted me greatly. Before this project I was unemployed, as a result of this project financially I’ve been able to pay for my two kids school fees and as well as develop myself by registering for a course on finance,” concludes Kahlulo.
Another general worker on site is a 27 year old single parent with one child Asanda Mtoto from Harry Gwala Park in Matatiele.
“Before this project I was unemployed. This project is assisting with taking care of my three (3) year old daughter. Due to this project I have learnt how to handle money and how I need to save for it.”
“I’m also in the process of furthering my studies because of the financial assistance I’m receiving from the project. I had to drop out of school due to unemployment but now, since I’m working in this project I’ve managed to save a bit,” adds Mtoto.
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 Salim Mohamed, Director Infrastructure Programme Delivery Health Facilities Development & Maintenance Dep of Health Eastern Cape.