Lift doesn’t go to the top and other SA snafus

Salt in the wound

The KZN health department has come up with a novel excuse for the sorry state of Durban’s Addington Hospital – sea air.

“The salt air that comes from the ocean affects our lifts continuously and the rust that has been always there is what has been affecting our lifts. As a result we are looking at options of moving the hospital away from where it currently is and building a structure that will actually be manageable and be friendly to patients,” said Health MEC, Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, during a recent legislature committee session.

The Berea Mail last week quoted Simelane-Zulu as saying the health department was considering relocating the hospital, such was the cost of maintenance.

To be sure, the upkeep of beachfront properties like Addington can be demanding, but it hasn’t put the lifts out of action at the many hotels on the same stretch of coast.

And the department has never thought to blame the sea for the litany of woes with, for example, the oncology machines at the same hospital, stretching back over the past decade. 

Tender and other management problems seem to lie at the heart of that particular snafu.

Mandla Shabangu, spokesman for the Democratic Nurses Organisation of South Africa, told TimesLIVE that the union “was shocked to hear that comment from the MEC”.

Shabangu felt that salty air was the least of the hospital’s problems and blamed the department and public works for poor maintenance over the past 10 years. 

“The problems of that hospital are more than the non-functioning lifts. There’s poor maintenance of staff residence, broken windows, lack of working electricity, blocked sinks and toilets. So we cannot only say it’s the issue of its location.”

Bad hair day 

Dry, dull, lifeless? Feeling all limp? Just washed it and can’t think what to do with it? Hey, we’ve all been there; even the most energetic of political parties can run out of vroom sometimes.

Blame Covid-19. After all, it’s hard to get steamed up about something that even the most fierce critics struggle to pin on the government. And then there’s the general gatvol factor. People just want to get on with their lives.  

So it was good to read in IOL, News24, TimesLive et al that the Economic Freedom Fighters have finally got their mojo back, with an easy-to-package campaign, neatly timed for the weekly news cycle.

Taking a leaf from the government’s playbook perhaps, the EFF has issued a Level 4™ lockdown “directive” of its own. It’s told Clicks to close all of its 880 stores, from today, 7 September, until Friday.

This after the retailer offended some including the EFF, with a hair product advert, which the party called racist.

News24 carries a report with a video clip of Marshall Dlamini, the EFF secretary-general, who calls on party’s “ground forces and fighters” to “assist” Clicks with the lockdown.

With friends like these.

No surprise, then

Another week, another opportunity for Jacob Zuma to sing and dance outside court. Well, not this time. 

Fans of the former president will be disappointed to learn that the celebrated baritone will not be keeping his engagement at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Tuesday, 8 September. 

But this time it’s the prosecution’s fault, say his peeps.

Zuma has expressed his disappointment through a statement issued by his foundation on Sunday in which he said he “is more than ready for the commencement of the Arms Deal trial”, reported IOL.

The foundation said the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) together with the media has accused Zuma of applying delaying tactics. “Yet, it is the NPA that is not ready to proceed when President Zuma calls upon it to present its case against him. The silence of the media in this regard is deafening.” 

That’s it: stick it to those running-dog lackeys!

You know you suck when you admit it

Tired of critics rounding on you and telling you, you’re not up to snuff? 

Well if you can’t beat them, join them. 

Last week Eskom, on the subject of itself and its power stations, said its “fleet” was “plagued by legacy issues of neglect and omitted maintenance and is therefore susceptible to unpredictable breakdowns, it is also true that the situation is exacerbated by serious issues of apathetic behaviour by some management staff”. 

This, in a cheering article by IOL, which carries warnings from experts on rolling blackouts until December… and beyond.

Candles anyone?

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Safrea or its members.

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