Its a decade behind schedule and cost more than six times more that originally planned, but Kimberley Mental Hospital will finally be completed next month, Northen Cape officials assured MPs on Thuesday.
Construction on the 286-bed hospital began in 2006. It was originally supposed to be handed over to the Northern Cape health department in 2008‚ but the project has been repeatedly delayed‚ partly due to a legal dispute between the provincial department of public works and its first contractor‚ Vista Park Developers.
The department fired Vista after realising it was not coping with the magnitude of the project. Over the past 10 years‚ the cost of the project has ballooned from R290m to R1.86bn.
The Northern Cape health department’s head of infrastructure‚ Lesetja Mabona‚ told Parliament’s portfolio committee on health that nine of the hospital’s 31 blocks had been completed‚ and the rest were close to finalisation.
According to Steven Jonkers‚ head of health for the Northern Cape‚ the Kimberley Mental Health Hospital will replace the Free State Psychiatric Complex (previously known as the Oranje Hospital)‚ which will be decommissioned.