The construction of the Observatory Forensic Pathology Services at Groote Schuur Hospital is running four months behind schedule. Picture: Mwangi Githahu/Cape Argus
Cape Town - The construction of the Observatory Forensic Pathology Services at Groote Schuur Hospital is running four months behind schedule and is likely to experience even more delays.

This emerged on Tuesday during an oversight inspection conducted by Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo and her Transport and Public Works colleague MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela. The Department of Transport and Public Works is the implementing agent for the project.

Speaking on the site, Madikizela said: “My understanding is that we’re four months behind and we’re likely to experience even more delays, given the fact that the contract is structured in a particular way, and after these delays we’ll have to revisit it and make sure we factor in the conditions which resulted in the delay.”

Assessing the work that has gone on despite the four-month delay, Mbombo said: “Ideally we would have wanted this project finished by June or July, as was indicated in May 2017 when we did the sod-turning, but part of the reason for delay, is that this is a heritage site. Also there have been some weather issues that delayed the process.

“But I’m happy that I came and got it from the horse’s mouth and the contractor on site has indicated the work should be completed by October or November.”

The 10399m², four-storey building worth R281million will replace the Salt River Forensic Pathology Services and is meant to provide better integration of the work of the Provincial Forensic Pathology Service and that of the National Health Laboratory Services.

The facility will also support UCT’s academic training field.

This initiative has been made possible with the help of the Department of Transport and Public Works as the implementing agent. It was confirmed that construction is expected to be completed in October.

Vonita Thompson, director of forensic pathology service for the Western Cape, said: “We’ve been planning this building since 2007.

“The purpose of this building is to co-locate the Salt River Forensic Pathology Facility, while at the same time working together with UCT to provide teaching and training activities.”

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Cape Argus