File image: Kempton Park hospital. (IOL).

CAPE TOWN - Kempton Park hospital in Gauteng is reportedly going to be demolished and it is going to cost the city R127 million, according to Gauteng MEC for Infrastructure Development, Jacob Mamabolo. 

This comes after the hospital has been under left incomplete after it was meant to receive a R244 million upgrade which was meant to be completed back in 2015. 

Five years ago, the Gauteng Health Department committed itself to rebuilding the nine-storey structure, which accommodated up to 350 beds in its heyday.

The reopening of its doors would have eased the high in-flow of patients at the nearby Tembisa and Edenvale hospitals in Ekurhuleni.

The department said construction would start in March 2013 and was to have been completed by July 2014. At the time, the department said the hospital was closed in 1996 because of the low-patient intake.

In November 2016 then-health MEC Qedani Mahlangu said the hospital would be demolished for renovations by January. But this too did not materialise.

Since the 2013 commitment, almost nothing has been done to the site except for paint markings on the driveway near the reception area and the erection of a high fence on the perimeters in September. 

The rusted medical and theatre equipment and patient files that were left when the hospital suddenly closed 21 years ago, were still kept there.

Another security company was hired in 2013 after it emerged that their predecessors were taking bribes from teenagers who seemed fascinated by the so-called haunted hospital.

The department allegedly spent about R1m a year on securing the hospital, which was targeted by vandals in the past. The building was also being used as a hideout for criminals, who terrorised homeowners in Van Riebeeck Park.

Top Six Security Services supervisor Xolani Radebe said crime and vandalism have gone down drastically since the erection of the fence. “But we still get people who are fascinated by this building and they would come and ask to shoot music videos or commentaries here. We refer them to the department,” said Radebe.

Deon Aspeling, of Estpro Estate, said last year that the area near the hospital still had value for property owners and since the closure of the hospital, many of its doctors bought property nearby and converted it into consulting rooms.

This was done in the hope that the hospital would reopen soon.

In addition to this, Mamabolo, in a written reply to the DA’s Kempton Park constituency head, Refiloe Nt’sekhe revealed that R6 million had been spent on security at the hospital since its shut down in 1997. 

The demolishing process is said to begin in September this year, reports Kempton Express. 

Nt’sekhe reportedly said that the hospital should not have been shut down back in 1997. 

The constituency head added that the amount that it is going to cost to demolish the hospital is an exorbitant amount of money. 

READ MORE: State fails to upgrade empty Kempton Park hospital

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