In the Northern Cape, a capacity building project, funded by the SIOC Community Development Trust (SIOC-CDT), that focuses on expanding the facilities for maternity care has been taking place since October 2019.
The Northam Clinic Maternity Ward upgrade, funded by SIOC-CDT, will benefit residents of the Northam township and surrounding areas – providing support to a population of approximately 18,000 people.
The clinic is situated on the border of the North West province in the Thabazimbi municipality. Thabazimbi Hospital is a level one district hospital with ten feeder clinics, of which the Northam clinic is the only one that operates 24 hours a day.
As a result of the increasing immigration of residents into this mining and farming corridor, the population has been rising consistently. This has had ripple effects on service delivery in the area, including maternity services, due to capacity challenges.
The current clinic size cannot meet the demand of up to 80 births per month, causing unavoidable referrals to the Thabazimbi Hospital. Not only is this inconvenient for expectant mothers who prefer to give birth close to their families, but it is also extremely expensive for the Department of Health.
The vital maternity ward upgrade is a partnership success with Dikuno Tsa Sechaba Community Trust who have contributed R5 million to the overall budget of R28,791,289, with the balance being invested by SIOC-CDT.
The upgrade will be sustained by the Limpopo Provincial Department of Health, who have also committed to assigning a maintenance budget and ensuring that the bigger capacity is well resourced.
The project scope by SIOC-CDT has encompassed: the procurement of medical equipment and furniture, construction of the wards, delivery rooms, labour room, post-natal and ante-natal room, mentor mother, counselling, consultation and medicine rooms and the waiting area and power backup area. The upgrade completion date
Says Vusani Mali, CEO of SIOC-CDT: “With this upgrade, we also aim to reduce the mortality rate of children under five years old within the Northam catchment area and to improve service delivery to mothers by implementing Mentor Mothers, lay counsellors and health education services. The target for completion is April 2021 and we are looking forward to soon providing new mothers with a good facility where there are no chances of being turned away or referred to a hospital that is far from home.”
SIOC Community Development Trust (SIOC-CDT) was established in 2006 by Sishen Iron Ore Company (SIOC) (Pty) Ltd to invest in the uplifting of the communities in which the mining company operates in the Northern Cape and Limpopo. We invest significantly in community development projects aimed at ensuring sustainability beyond mining operations.
SIOC-CDT has substantiated its stated intention of “defining ourselves through actions, not our words” by investing over R1 billion in socio-economic and community development projects in its beneficiary communities; Gamagara, Tsantsabane, Ga-Segonyana and Joe Morolong in the Northern Cape, as well as Thabazimbi in Limpopo.
SIOC-CDT has previously implemented, and is currently implementing, similar health-focused projects in the John Taolo Gaetsewe District of the Northern Cape that include the completed conversion of Olifantshoek Hospital into a Community Health Centre.
About Dikuno Tsa Sechaba Community Trust
Dikuno Tsa Sechaba Community Development Trust, or ‘Dikuno’, was established as part of the Alchemy Community Development Programme initiated by Anglo American Platinum (‘Anglo American Platinum’).
The programme was launched in 2011. This pioneering programme promotes thriving communities and sustained local, inclusive community development beyond mining, through mining, leveraging community’s shareholding in Anglo American Platinum.
The Trust is a registered Public Benefit Organisation (PBO) focusing on the host and neighbouring communities of the Anglo American Platinum Amandelbult Operations.