Multi-million rand facility brings services to the people

Khayelitsha health forum chair Mzanywa Ndibongo.

The Khayelitsha community has been urged to make use of the multi-million rand Khayelitsha Shared Services Centre.

The building was commissioned by the Department of Transport and Public Works for the provincial departments of agriculture, education, social development and health.

It is situated on the corner of Steve Biko and Govan Mbeki roads, near the Khayelitsha District Hospital and the Department of Home Affairs and offers various provincial government services.

The centre was officially opened last year and is now fully operational.

A site visit to the centre was conducted by Transport and Public Works MEC Donald Grant on Monday May 8.

He was accompanied by Health MEC, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo and Social Development, MEC Albert Fritz.

The three MECs promised residents better access to quality education and healthcare, as well as food security, good governance, and the building of cohesive communities.

Community representatives lauded the provincial government for the building, but raised a few concerns, such as youth unemployment, crime around the building and a parking lot for the staff.

However, the MECs promised to tackle the issues.

Dr Mbombo urged people to use the centre to raise their complaints and other issues they have with different departments. She said people would no longer have to travel long distances to get help.

“Another advantage is that issues will be dealt here. Officials will no longer drive from town to here to solve problems. It is advantageous to people. The government has brought services right to their doors.” Mr Grant said the centre had the capacity to deal with a large number of complaints.

He said as the government they invested in buildings they owned to reduce costs.

“This is to bring services closer to people. This will save people from driving to town. It is closer to rail, taxis and buses. It is great to have provincial departments housed together,” he said.

An elated Mr Fritz said he was impressed with the quality of the building. He added that the building would afford people quality services too.

But resident Bathandwa Spakisi said he was worried because there was no mention of youth employment or training. He said as the government brought services to the people, they should also be creating opportunities for them . He added that the departments should forge a working relationship with local stakeholders.

Khayelitsha Health Forum chairperson Mzanywa Ndibongo agreed, saying the departments need to interact with organisations such as their forum.

Another concern came from social development office manager Fritz Gezwind who said staff members are being robbed in broad daylight near the centre. He asked the MEC to do something about it. The MECs pledged to do something about crime and suggested that the staff interact with local organisations.