I wish to express my sincere gratitude to DA Ward 58 Candidate, Waolea Minnaar, and DA activist Tarren Roodt for their heroic act in helping a displaced female deliver her baby in the Brixton cemetery yesterday. See picture here.
Despite the ambulance only arriving almost two hours after they were called, both Minnaar and Roodt stepped up beyond their duties as citizens, in helping a desperate woman with no immediate access to emergency services. At the time, the pregnant woman was living in the Brixton cemetery.
While waiting for the ambulance, another DA activist went to the Brixton fire station no more than approximately 200 metres away from the pregnant woman. The activist was allegedly told that only councillors can request fire trucks and ambulances. This was despite a desperate woman, needing urgent medical attention while firefighters are trained in this type of situation.
While ordinary citizens came to the rescue of this woman, the Johannesburg Municipality still has a responsibility to ensure responsive emergency services. The municipality’s fleet of ambulances has shrunk from 101 to 0, since the ANC took over in November 2019. This has been exacerbated by the ANC provincial government’s Provincialisation of Ambulances Programme, which saw the City’s Emergency Management Services’ (EMS) ambulance services come to a halt in June of this year.
At the moment, the provincial department of Health is the custodian of ambulance services in the City. In June 2019, the DA administration in Johannesburg delivered 42 brand new state-of-the-art ambulances to the EMS, boosting its fleet by 72% to 101 ambulances. This meant that each fire station across the City received at least one new ambulance, with the majority of new ambulances allocated to fire stations in townships. Just before the suspension of the ambulance services in June this year under the ANC government, the City was running at less than 10 ambulances per shift.
The Johannesburg Municipality needs to urgently apply for their own operating license, so that municipal ambulances can get back on the road, and assist those who simply cannot afford private medical care or ambulance services.
Once the DA is voted in with a majority in the City of Gold, we will make it a priority to get our ambulances back so that marginalised residents can have the care they deserve.