Unique partnership benefits hospital

A car dealership is taking care of maintenance aspects required at a local hospital.

16 June 2019 | Health

Lizethe Tjivikua; Swakopmund hospital; . . . community members also play a part in vandalising property at the hospital . . .

Swakopmund - Otis Finck

Steckels Toyota resolved to partner with and address a number of maintenance issues at the Swakopmund State Hospital.

Rene Koegelenberg, the driving force behind the project, explained that the initiative came about after a recommendation from Toyota South Africa which requested that agents identify and become involved in corporate social responsibility initiatives in their respective areas of operation.

Steckels Toyota decided on the Swakopmund state hospital, located in Henties Bay road.

The 23 employees of the dealership in collaboration with hospital staff members have been involved in numerous projects at the facility since the beginning of this year.

Swakopmund hospital chief administrative officer Lizethe Tjivikua wholeheartedly welcomed the initiative.

“This is an excellent gesture and definitely one of the best things that could have happened for us. People are always quick to criticise without offering assistance. A staff shortage experienced at the hospital is a reality. Many items are getting old, while community members also play a part in vandalising property at the hospital. No tender was awarded for the upkeep of the hospital surrounds and we initially considered removing the flowers and the grass at the front of the facility. It shows that we can make do with what we have and do not always need money to effect change.”

Rene said the dealership would like to get the entire coastal community participating in the effort to assist Steckels Toyota to fix what is broken and enhance the overall condition at the hospital.

The dealership started the partnership project by servicing an ambulance at its state of the art workshop.

“We replaced the timing belt and did a general service on the vehicle. There are another two ambulances in the fleet which need attention. The objective is to also get them running. We are also servicing the wheels of trolleys and the beds at our workshop.”

The second phase of the project involves revamping the outside environment and immediate surrounds of the hospital.

“The garden is already receiving attention and we are inviting volunteers and companies to come on board. We do not want money. We are looking for human capacity, implements and material.”

Rene said that the next phase of the project will involve replacing all broken windows, door locks and hinges, toilet pots and the servicing of all aluminium window and door parts.

“The bathrooms also need attention. Many of the toilet seats and flushing mechanisms are damaged and need to be replaced. The absence of hot water at the hospital is another huge problem. Not one of the 17 geysers are in working condition and this issue will also be addressed.”

He explained that numerous volunteers have offered their services towards the labour aspect of the project.

“We can also use inmates, and builders pledged their expertise and equipment when the need arises. We do need various items that must be replaced. The dilapidated fence in Kolonnen Street also needs attention and we are looking for sand, bricks and cement to tackle this issue.”

Rene said the project to revamp the hospital is an ongoing initiative.

“Steckels Toyota wants to see and ensure that the hospital is well maintained. This is a coordinated effort and everybody is most welcome to join and contribute towards making a meaningful difference in our community.”

Anyone interested is assisting in kind can contact Rene on 081 758 4312.

Back in the day the company, which was then known as G Steckel Garage ,obtained the Toyota franchise, sold its first Toyopet Stout (delivered on 23 September 1963) and also became the first Toyota dealer in the country.

Owners Willie and Hannelie Schoeman obtained land from the municipality in 2013 and Steckel’s Toyota moved into its state of the art facility on the corner of Sam Nujoma & Nelson Mandela avenue in 2015 where the business is today after 87 years.

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