There was an early festive mood in the village of Vaalbank on Friday when the MEC for health, Sindiswa Gomba, officially opened the new village clinic.
The clinic which was already operational, replaced an old one situated across the road from where the new one stands.
The event was attended by community members who went to witness the official cutting of the ribbon and foundation stone unveiling.
On the day, queues of patients waited to consult with doctors who, the Rep was told, seldom visited, but were part of the official visit.
One of the patients, an elderly man, who chose to be anonymous, said they were happy with the new clinic and this “showed a government serving its people”.
“It is beautiful and big. My only problem is that we often have to wait for a time to get help. The nurses who are supposed to attend to us seem not to be in any hurry to help,” he said.
Another resident who was also queuing said she wished the doctors made more visits to the new clinic. “We are often told we have to move to the clinic at Ngonyama. They also run out of water regularly and cannot attend to us,” she said.
The problems, however, did not seem to dampen the spirit, with many people milling around the new clinic precinct while they waited for the MEC.
Other villagers were in a tent in the yard and children from different schools, dressed in traditional garb, practised for their performances on the day.
When Gomba arrived, she was accompanied by the mayor of Emalahleni Local Municipality, Ntombizanele Koni. After a prayer, the unveiling and the ribbon cutting, the MEC was given a tour of the new clinic.