Pretoria: The Limpopo Provincial Government is planning to buy 50 more ambulances in the next financial year.
The announcement was made by Limpopo Premier Chupu Mathabatha during the State of the Province Address (SOPA) on Tuesday.
“We have since purchased and handed over 50 state-of-the-art ambulances to our healthcare facilities across the province.
“We plan to buy 50 more ambulances in the next financial year so that more lives can be saved. We have also spent no less than R145 million to purchase and repair critical equipment for the hospitals in need.
“Without doubt, these ambulances have brought much relief to Emergency Medical Services in the province,” he said.
Health Turnaround Strategy
Last year, the province adopted a Health Turnaround Strategy, which was aimed at addressing the many challenges that had become characteristic of the primary healthcare system in the province.
This includes boilers, autoclave machines, laundry machines, theatre equipment, mortuary and kitchen refrigerators, among others.
In September last year, the provincial government managed to send 110 students to Cuba to study medicine.
“We are currently running an advertisement inviting interested young people for another opportunity to study medicine in Cuba. The closing date is this Friday,” he said.
Fight against HIV, Aids on track
The Premier said the fight against HIV and Aids is well on track, adding that the Provincial Aids Council, chaired by him, has since been revived.
He said they have also established a dedicated unit in his Office to support the work of the Council.
“The directorate will obviously go a long way towards enhancing the work of the council and more importantly, add value to our fight against the scourge of HIV and Aids.
“In the same vein, we implore on all mayors of our municipalities to consider this measure to intensify the fight against HIV and Aids,” he said.
Premier Mathabatha said they have thus far empowered 12 Community Nutrition Development Centres to manage and distribute food to needy individuals across the province.
This initiative will benefit no less than 2 400 people. In the next financial year, the provincial government will increase Community Development Centres from 12 to 17.
Upgrade of gravel to tarred roads
Meanwhile, Limpopo will have fewer dirt roads in the next three years as money has been set aside to upgrade some of the gravel roads to tarred roads.
Premier Mathabatha said R3.187 billion has been set aside to upgrade gravel roads to tarred roads.
“We have put aside an amount of R3.187 billion to upgrade from gravel to tar 18 projects over the next three years. We have also rehabilitated over 173km of tarred road network.
“These projects will include the so-called ‘Bermuda’ roads that were started in the past and were not concluded due to budgetary constraints. The distance to be covered will be no less than 344km,” he said.
Premier Mathabatha said road infrastructure is a strategic stimulant for economic growth and development, hence they are investing more resources in road infrastructure development and maintenance.
“In the past five years alone, we have managed to construct about 21 bridges and upgraded from gravel to tar about 407km of road network,” he said.
SOURCE: South African Official News