Image showing a farmer and a nurse cutting a ribbon at a clinic entrance.
Pieter Vorster of Mahela Group at the ribbon cutting with Christine du Preez, Managing Director of Hlokomela.

On the morning of Friday the 9th of February (today) the Hlokomela clinic opened its doors in Letsitele on a portion of the Mahela Group’s land. The event was attended by a number of representatives of farming operations in the area and saw the official ribbon cutting ceremony to the entrance of a brand new state of the art clinic to serve the farming community.

According to the clinic manager, Sister Laverne Stebbing, the Hlokomela facility will mainly focus on assisting the farmers of the area with the needs of their farm workers, and then eventually phase into assisting the broader community.

Phumeza Jacobs (Ancilliary Health Care Worker), Sr Suzan Sape (Professional Nurse) and Sister Laverne Stebbing, Clinic manager

“Discovery Fund approached Hlokomela and suggested that it was time to expand their practice into areas that needed servicing. In the time that we started looking around for a similar agricultural environment as the one in Hoedspruit where we have been operating for close on 20 years, Mahela Group identified a need within their community to provide health care to their farm workers as part of their initiatives to plough back into their community.”

Access to health services in the rural areas such as Letsitele has been an ongoing struggle for many years with only a single clinic in Letsitele to cater to the community.

“You know, when you take into account all the workers on the farms around this area, and then add the seasonal workers at the packhouses, the number of job opportunities run into the many thousands,” explained Pieter Vorster of the Mahela Group. “This clinic will help us as employers, help our employees to gain access to medicine and medical checkups without having the hassles of overcrowded state facilities and exorbitant medical costs.”

The facility is situated not far from the main road (R71) between Tzaneen and Letsitele and is fully kitted with waiting rooms, consultation rooms, a dispensary and all the necessary equipment to provide the health services required. “The model we have built this Hlokomela Junction clinic on is based upon the successes we have achieved in the Hoedspruit area over the last 18 years. We have three stationary clinics and
nine mobile sites in Hoedspruit area and the Kruger National Park.”

Hlokomela Junction clinic will offer services such as immunizations, health checks and dispensing of chronic medication.

On hand at the clinic is Phumeza Jacobs, an Ancilliary Health Care Worker and Sister Suzan Sape, a professional nurse.