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Transnet launches second health train

Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba on Monday officially unveiled State-owned Transnet’s R82-million second healthcare train Phelophepa II, reaffirming the group’s commitment to corporate citizenship.

 The new train will operate simultaneously with Transnet Phelophepa I, which started operating in 1994. Both trains will provide onboard primary healthcare, dental, optometry and psychological care, among others.

The introduction of Transnet Phelophepa II will more than double the number of people who benefit from the facility, taking the total to an estimated 370 000 individuals yearly. The healthcare train’s community outreach programmes also include health, oral and vision screening programmes, basic health education courses and community counselling workshops.

“What started off 18 years ago as a modest three-coach eye clinic has become an internationally well-known beacon of hope, providing healthcare throughout South Africa, especially in rural areas. The launch of Transnet Phelophepa II will allow us to reach more communities that are in dire need of healthcare services and demonstrate how public-private sector partnerships can be used to transform lives of communities through social entrepreneurship.

“We have repeatedly committed ourselves to ensure that State-owned enterprises entrusted to us in the Department of Public Enterprises, will lead corporate South Africa as agents of change. I therefore challenge the private sector to match or even better this commitment,” said Gigaba.

Transnet Phelophepa is also a training institution for South African and international final year professional health students. The trains not only provide practical experience for nursing, dental, optometry, psychology and pharmaceutical students, but also attract catering students needing an opportunity to practise their skills.

Transnet Phelophepa II will be visiting communities in the Eastern Cape from March to May; the Northern Cape from May to July; the North West between July and August; and Limpopo from August to September.

by Dimakatso Motau for Engineering News

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