King Edward VIII Hospital in Durban. REUTERS/Rogan Ward
King Edward VIII Hospital in Durban. REUTERS/Rogan Ward

King Edward Hospital to be renamed after Struggle heroine

By Thobeka Ngema Time of article published Jun 8, 2021

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DURBAN - HEALTH MEC Nomagugu Simelane said the department was in the process of renaming King Edward VIII Hospital in honour of the late nurse, lawyer and Struggle heroine Victoria Nonyamezelo Mxenge.

Simelane announced the renaming of the hospital in May during the Health Department’s budget vote for 2021. She said Mxenge was chosen because she was one of the people who trained at the hospital before she became a lawyer. Mxenge also worked at King Edward VIII Hospital.

“We respect the role she played in the Struggle but the hospital’s name must also reflect the nature and the relationship between the hospital and the community,” Simelane said.

She said while negotiations were not yet concluded with the Mxenge family on the renaming, the family appeared very happy about the move.

“We are quite excited and we hope that by December or January, plans for the renaming will be visible.”

Simelane said that before renaming a hospital, they checked whether the hospital was at the correct level in terms of infrastructure and what the department needed to fix.

The department recently opened state-of-the-art theatres at the hospital.

Simelane said their hospitals and facilities must be named after people who communities could relate to and said that some of their facilities were named after people communities did not know. “We renamed the Turton Centre the Mfundo Arnold Lushaba Community Health Centre. We are changing Edendale Hospital and we will rename it after Harry Gwala, Ibhubesi laseMidlands,” said Simelane.

The department is expected to rename another facility after Portia Ndwandwe, but those details would be announced at the appropriate time.

In 2012, Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo announced that the department had started the process to rename King George V Hospital to King Solomon kaDinuzulu. Today the hospital is known as the King Dinuzulu Hospital.

The long-awaited opening of the 500-bed Dr Pixley Ka-Isaka Seme Memorial Hospital is now a step closer to be opened in KwaMashu, Durban. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng /African News Agency (ANA)

Dry run for hospital, almost ready to open

Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane said they were happy about progress at Dr Pixley ka-Isaka Seme Memorial Hospital regarding the recruitment process.

Simelane said the recruitment process took a long time because there were more than 400 000 people who had applied for the posts.

She said these were about 1 400 posts but close to half of them were clinical, meaning they were for those who studied to a certain level.

Simelane said this forced them to have a long recruitment process where they first shortlisted candidates then had them take a written assessment that was followed by another shortlist before interviews.

“I’m happy to announce that we’re at the end of that process.” She said on May 15 they had a dry run at the hospital so the department could see if the hospital floor worked well.

On June 15 they would have a dry run for patients where one block would be opened to take real patients. This would also be training for those newly employed to the hospital.

“Eventually, we will open it officially, maybe in two or three months’ time. But operating will start now.”

Meanwhile, Monday marked 70 years since Dr Pixley ka-Isaka Seme died.

Daily News

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