Pretoria – Staff and patients at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital got a chance to interact with Public Service and Administration Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi on Wednesday when he paid an unannounced visit to the hospital.
The Minister and his deputy, Ayanda Dlodlo, inspected the level of service delivery at the hospital that is the largest in the southern hemisphere. The hospital is located in Diepkloof, Soweto.
Minister Ramatlhodi and employees from the department toured the hospital wards to talk to staff and patients, who used the opportunity to voice some of the challenges the hospital faces.
“We have highlighted our challenges with the Minister and hope there will be a solution,” said hospital CEO Sfiso Maseko.
A patient at the hospital, Salmina Hlatshwayo, said the service was good but that queue management could still be improved. The queue issues are partly due to IT problems. “I arrived here just after 7am and although the queue is slow, [it is moving].”
Minister and his entourage were also taken to the maternity ward to interact with staff members and the mothers of new born babies.
“I’m impressed with what I have witnessed,” Deputy Minister Dlodlo said after visiting the maternity ward.
She said the babies were well taken care of and that the wards are clean.
The hospital CEO Sfiso Maseko said he is happy with the ministers’ visit.
Inspecting Thusong Service Centre
From the hospital, the Minister visited the Thusong Service Centre at Maponya Mall, where he spoke to staff members and people who came for assistance.
Thusong Service Centres are a programme of government initiated in 1999 as a primary vehicle to provide services to communities that are primarily outside urban centres.
Minister Ramatlhodi and Deputy Minister Dlodlo were taken through the centre, where they saw long queues in some areas, especially at the Home Affairs side.
Sipho Sithole from Pimville, who came to collect his child’s birth certificate, told SAnews that he had been waiting for almost two hours but he could not complain about the actual service.
“I am happy with the level of service delivery here. The staff are trying their best to assist us,” he said.
After visiting the Thusong Service Centre, the entourage proceeded to Moroka Police Station, where they conducted a walkabout.
They were warmly welcomed and taken through the well-kept police station.
Today’s visits were aimed at observing if government services are rendered in line with Batho Pele principles, the notion of putting people first.