The City of Johannesburg’s drive to provide healthcare facilities within a 5km radius of its various communities is gaining momentum, with the building of a multi-million rand clinic in River Park, Alexandra set to get off the ground within weeks.

The state-of-the-art R22.5-million health facility will serve residents of River Park, Lombardy and surrounding informal settlements, easing the pressure on the East Bank Clinic and other healthcare facilities in the area.

The project is being run by the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA). The contract to build the clinic was awarded to Solidare Construction late last year. The City, through the Urban Settlement Development Grant, will fund the project, which was officially handed over to Solidare Construction last week.

A number of small businesses and cooperatives registered under the Jozi@Work job creation and empowerment programme are expected to be roped in as sub-contractors or to perform certain duties on the project.

As a free primary healthcare centre, the clinic will comply with the norms and standards of the National Health Insurance (NHI), the government’s ambitious health blueprint to deliver quality healthcare to all South Africans.

The clinic is one of six healthcare centres being built or renovated to address the increasing demand for primary healthcare services in the area.

Johannesburg Member of the Mayoral Committee for Health Nonceba Molwele says the River Park Clinic and other healthcare facilities will bring much-needed relief to local communities.

Although the clinic will not have a maternity ward, it will, as a primary healthcare facility, provide antenatal and postnatal services. It will be run by 18 professional nurses and one doctor.

“Construction is envisaged to take 12 months to complete and the clinic will be opened to the public soon thereafter,” says MMC Molwele. “There has been a massive human settlement development in the Tsutsumani and Lombardy areas. The provision of health facilities adds to the comprehensive and decent nature of human settlement development.”

The development is in line with the City’s commitment to building a “smart city”.

Meanwhile, work on upgrading the Thoko Mngoma and 4th Avenue clinics is to commence soon. Each project has been allocated R3-million.

The Thoko Mngamo Clinic is being renovated to meet growing demand. A new wing will be built to accommodate more consulting rooms and emergency treatment rooms. The waiting area will be extended, the medical waste storage facility and guard house will be renovated, and new medical and IT equipment will be installed.