Hundreds of Hartbeespoort and Brits residents were left in the lurch and extremely upset after municipal workers closed the Brits licensing offices as well as the Hartbeespoort clinic’s doors on Friday and refused to open again.
At the licensing office workers refused to work because their complaints about non-functioning airconditioners, broken toilets and other conditions apparently fall on deaf municipal ears.
More than a hundred outraged motorists gathered in front of the closed offices, some threatening to break down the doors. Some were extremely upset because they had already been fined for expired license discs as a result of the backlog at the licensing offices. An eighty-year-old man said it was his second day in the queue and workers refused to bring him a chair.
Another senior citizen had to share a seat on a dustbin, also after his request for a chair was ignored.
Most of the motorists refused to leave and ward councillors were called to the office.
Despite Cllr Leon Basson calls to the municipal manager and mayor, the office remained closed for the rest of the day. The municipal manager and mayor said they were not aware of the problems.
“We get fined for the municipality’s lack of service delivery and refusal to work. How is that possible,” an angry motorist asked.
In the mean time the Hartbeespoort municipal clinic also closed its doors Friday afternoon leaving patients dumbfounded outside.
“We were told they were having a meeting and that we have to be patient and wait. One of the patients was a little girl who was so sick she couldn’t sit upright and was lying on the ground,” said a regular patient who was collecting chronic medication.
“There was also a man who was frantic because he had to get his ARV medication. He looked really ill,” she said.
The patients were apparently told the nursing staff had a staff meeting and would open again.
“At 16:00 they came out of their meeting, got their handbags and left with no regard for us patients who were told to wait patiently,” she said disgusted.
“The next thing was that the security people came in and were ready to escort us out of the waiting room as it was Friday and they wanted to go home. I understand they need their staff meetings and training, and they definitely need training on how to be pleasant and polite to the public. All this is desperately lacking at our clinic,” she said.
If every sister had taken one patient then, they would have been out of there in 5 minutes instead of spending 30 minutes arguing with everyone. We just wanted our medication but had to leave without it.
It is not the patients’ fault that they are either poor or old and cannot afford a private medical aid. These sisters have a job they get paid for and it costs absolutely nothing to be friendly, compassionate and caring, and a smile costs nothing at all. These patients have the right to be treated in a respectful way.,” she said.
“Please, something has to be done about the attitude of the staff at our local clinic as their service delivery is just out of order.”
The municipality did not respond to the Kormorant’s enquiry regarding this blatant refusal to deliver services to the community at both municipal offices.
Kormorant 7 to 13 February 2013
It is sad, but true – most of the municipalities quite frankly just don’t care. Whether you have water or not, it doesn’t seem to matter. I don’t know where our government is either. Nothing happens to these guys that strike, so ….. ? Gett off the grid. Harvest your own rainwater and become independent so this behaviour cannot afffect you.