Flash floods that hit Komani during the early hours of this morning have taken out generators at both the town’s hospitals, placing patients’ lives at risk.
One generator at the Frontier Hospital, which services the maternity ward, as well as ICU and theatre, has malfunctioned, while the generator servicing the maternity unit at the privately owned Life Queenstown has also been taken offline due to the flooding.
Without these generators, patients’ lives are in immediate danger. There are now no maternity facilities in the town that are operational during power outages. Surgeries cannot be performed, and babies born will not have access to additional care such as incubators or ventilators.
It is our understanding that patients at Life Queenstown have been evacuated and transported to facilities in East London.
I have written to Public Enterprises Minister, Pravin Ghordan, to request that, given the circumstances, Komani immediately be exempted from loadshedding for a period of 72 hours, or until the generators at both hospitals can be repaired and services can return to normal.
The electricity supply in the town, already erratic due to failing infrastructure, has been worsened by the latest severe weather, and loadshedding will aggravate the situation even further.
It is vital that all steps possible are taken to ensure the continued operation of both hospitals, especially as the city is currently dealing with the aftermath of a natural disaster, and casualty admissions could increase because of the flooding.