After a long wait, three rural communities around Taung will soon have proper health services within walking distance.
Residents from Tweelingspan, Buxton and Sekhing villages welcomed the sod- turning ceremonies in their respective areas by the health department last Friday, paving way for the construction of new clinics in these communities.
Health MEC Magome Masike, together with regional managers in the Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati district and traditional leaders, led the sod-turning process.
The MEC said construction of the three clinics would start around June.
"I want to thank residents here for being patient with us over the years. "I came here recently and saw this desperate situation and we are taking action. Construction will begin in the second quarter of this financial year." Masike said
community health workers would help render quality services in these communities as the efforts to improve primary healthcare gain momentum.
"We will also look into accommodation issues for health professionals in rural areas so that they serve people in their communities."
In Tweelingspan and Buxton, the structures that serve as clinics are dilapidated and new facilities would be built to replace them. But in Sekhing the community would have their first-ever clinic when the planned construction is completed.
Residents in this impoverished area have been walking a long distance to neighbouring Lower Majeakgoro in Northern Cape and often found themselves in conflicts with people there.
One Sekhing resident, Johannes Rooibatjie, 54, said having a clinic would be the best development for the community.
"I feel very happy and welcome this development. "We will no longer have to walk long distances to Lower Majeakgoro. People of that area used to beat us up when we went for service.
"Our biggest wish is to see the clinic operating 24 hours each day." Another resident, Notsikelelo Miathi, 52, said: "I''m very happy; we will now have proper treatment close by.
Many of us here are unemployed and sometimes people could not afford to hire a car during emergencies." In Buxton, residents said they looked forward to a bigger clinic that would operate on a 24-hour basis.
Tshegofatso Mokgeti, 17, said: "I feel happy that we will have a new clinic and hopefully it will come with improved services.
At this old one, we are sometimes told that there is no medication after walking long distances."