Blockades at Eastern Cape public hospitals condemned

JUNE 25, 2015

The South African Communist Party (SACP) in the Eastern Cape on Wednesday condemned the recent closure of public hospitals by two communities that are protesting over service delivery in their areas.

Residents, demanding electricity, blockaded the Sipethu Hospital in Ntanbankulu last week, while those from Elliotdale, this week, also closed the Madwaleni Hospital - endangering the lives of patients and those needing medical help.


"The closure of any public hospitals like it happened in Madwaleni Hospital and Siphethu Hospital or damage to any other public property is unacceptable," said SACP Provincial Spokesperson, Siyabonga Mdodi.

"There is no service delivery need that can justify closing of a public hospital and deny people the right to health and the right to life as other people are in a risk of losing lives under the circumstances. We condemn these acts as criminal, as even during the fight against inhumane apartheid regime we never embarked on such criminal activities.

"We would like to caution the protesting communities, that any criminal act like closing of hospitals, schools, burning of public property, etc delegitimizes any genuine demands they may have."

Mdodi called for all leaders of the alliance formations in the area to get closer to the situation and work tirelessly with the affected people in getting a lasting solution to the challenges.

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) also condemned the actions by residents.

The Eastern Cape Department of Health reportedly had to use a helicopter to evacuate critically ill patients from the affected hospitals.