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The City of Cape Town’s Health Directorate is working closely with other relevant City departments to finalise an internal safety plan before reopening the Hanover Park Clinic.

The clinic was closed on 5 November 2015 amid an upsurge in gang violence in Hanover Park and fears for the safety of staff and clients.

During the City’s last communication on this issue, we indicated that the clinic would remain closed until the end of January, at which point we would reassess the situation.Our staff members have received counselling and have continued to provide the best service possible to the community from the Newfields Satellite Clinic. They have since indicated a willingness to return to the main clinic, provided that a plan is devised and implemented to ensure their safety and the safety of the clients.

Some of the safety measures being considered include regular patrols in the vicinity of the clinic throughout the day and the installation of security hardening measures like bullet-proof windows and handheld metal scanners.

City Health has a combined operational and capital budget of just under R12 million for security in this financial year. To date, we have spent just short of R4,5 million against an operational budget of R10,8 million for security guards, alarms, etc. We have spent approximately R400 000 against a capital budget of R1 million, with an additional R250 000 committed to contractors for work currently under way for security hardening measures at our facilities.

As can be seen from the figures, we are doing all we can to safeguard clinics and other City Health infrastructure, but we do not have a bottomless budget. That is why we are currently engaging with the Safety and Security Directorate and other departments to determine how they can assist City Health in finalising security arrangements as soon as possible so that we can reopen the Hanover Park Clinic.

On behalf of City Health, I would once again like to apologise to the affected clients for any inconvenience caused by the closure and would like to reassure them that we are committed to providing an environment that is conducive to service delivery and that takes into account everyone’s safety and well-being. I wish to also thank the staff for their resilience and cooperation during this period.

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