NATIONAL NEWS - A new R730 million hospital was officially opened in Soweto, south of Johannesburg, on Wednesday.
"To date 921 professionals have been appointed, including 26 doctors, 451 nurses, 36 allied professionals, 148 administration staff, and 241 support staff," Gauteng health MEC Hope Papo said.
The recruitment process was continuing.
"Zola-Jabulani District Hospital will service the northern and western communities of Soweto, among others, from Dobsonville, Emdeni, Meadowlands, Moletsane, Mofolo, Zola, Naledi, Tladi, Jabulani, Bram Fischerville and Protea".
Papo said the hospital would take pressure off Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital and improve access to health services in the region.
Infrastructure development department spokeswoman Ramona Baijnath said the hospital was a three-storey building, with 300 beds and a Gateway Clinic.
"The supporting outbuildings structures include four workshops, laundry, bulk-store, kitchen, waste management, substation, security facility, and mortuary," she said.
Since the inception of the project, 2052 Soweto residents received training and employment while eight local entrepreneurs were appointed, Baijnath said.
"The architecture of Zola-Jabulani District Hospital capitalises on natural lighting to supplement the various green courtyards, which provide natural lighting, ventilation and maximises energy efficiency," she said.
Infrastructure development MEC Qedani Mahlangu said a maintenance budget of R16m had been allocated for the 2014/15 financial year. The money would be used to support the day-to-day maintenance of the hospital and identified minor projects.
"Zola-Jabulani District Hospital will have a 27-member maintenance team onsite that will be responsible for day-to-day and preventative maintenance on all electro-mechanical equipment, buildings maintenance, and electrical systems maintenance," Mahlangu said.
Gauteng Democratic Alliance health spokesman Jack Bloom said R1.7m was spent on the opening ceremony.
"The money spent on food and drinks at a lavish opening is wasteful and better spent on meeting the health needs of people in Gauteng," Bloom said.
Baijnath could not confirm this amount as three departments had contributed financially to the ceremony.
"It's difficult to give you a consolidated figure right now," she said.