Western Cape Health MEC denies Mboweni’s ‘white side and black side’ claims

Tygerberg Hospital.

Any claims of racism at the hospital cannot be dismissed, whether it be between patients, or patients and staff according to the MEC.

Western Cape Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo denies there are White and Black sections for patients at Cape Town’s massive Tygerberg Hospital.

“We do not have a white side and a black side in Tygerberg or any of our hospitals,” said Mbombo.

She had already demanded an apology from Finance Minister Tito Mboweni after he suggested this during remarks on infrastructure projects in this Medium Term Budget Policy Statement on Wednesday.

Mboweni also took a dig at the DA – the majority party in the Western Cape legislature and the official opposition in the National Assembly.

After announcing funding for extensions to the Chief Albert Luthuli Hospital in KwaZulu-Natal, and to the Tygerberg and Klipheuwel hospitals in the Western Cape, he deviated from his prepared speech at the 12 minute mark.

“By the way, this Tygerberg thing,” he said. “This Tygerberg Hospital thing – it still has a black and white section.”

From the benches came a “what?” which was clearly audible.

But Mboweni continued: “There’s a section where blacks used to go, a section where whites used to go.

“So structurally, structurally, it’s still there. So that thing has to be removed… be removed. And a completely new… hospital constructed there.

“It’s unbelievable,” he said.

Somebody from the benches then shouted “DA” and he responded: “I thought that was a DA government there.”

MP Natasha Mazzone issued a video in which she stated that she would report him to Parliament’s Ethics Committee for “misleading” the House.

Mbombo demanded an apology, saying this was an affront to the around 4 600 staff, excluding student doctors, who worked there.

On Thursday, during a briefing on Covid-19 in the Western Cape, Mbombo said most of the buildings built during apartheid were meant to accommodate a “white side” and a “black side”.

However, patients were not “racialised” as suggested.

Mbombo said that the around 10 000 people a day seen at the hospital, were a “microcosm” of the communities they came from.

She said any claims of racism at the hospital cannot be dismissed, whether it be between patients, or patients and staff. She asked that these be reported.

“I’m not dismissing that there couldn’t be any of such anywhere, because we are part of South Africa.

“But I dismiss [that we] could have it at that level. We don’t have a black and a white side.”

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