New pathology lab to alleviate pressure

Johannesburg – An academic forensics mortuary, built by the Gauteng government, is expected to alleviate the
pressure on residents who are still waiting for answers on what killed their loved ones.
The forensic pathology laboratory, under construction in Auckland Park, will be one of the biggest facilities of its
kind in the world, according to Gauteng Premier David Makhura.
He visited the construction site last Thursday.
There is a backlog of 80 000 forensic samples that need to be tested countrywide. The building has been under
construction since November 2016 but government is adamant the project isn’t running behind schedule.
“This facility will help a lot for those particular cases where the reasons behind a loved one dying are unknown.
The one in Hillbrow is too small and overtime it would not cope with the new technology we are going to have
here. The state of the art technology will help us a lot especially in circumstances where families want to know,”
he said.
Makhura said families who want answers about the deaths of their loved ones should no longer have to wait five,
even up to 10 years for closure.
R500 million is being invested in the building and it is expected to be fully functional by June next year. The
facility would replace the current Johannesburg forensic pathology mortuary in Hillbrow, which is struggling to
cope with demand for forensic pathology services.
Makhura said the 650-person storage facility would also serve an academic function with auditoriums, workspace
and medical procedure observation rooms for medical professionals and students.
“This project will also assist medical students to do their research. The most important part the building design
has taken cognisance of the stressful nature of the environment,” he said.
Once completed, the forensic laboratory would transform the spatial landscape and link tertiary education sites
across the province by adding to existing amenities such as the Ann Lasky Nursing College, Helen Joseph
Hospital, University of Johannesburg campus; Campus Square Shopping Complex and Rea Vaya station complex,
which have become an educational and health precinct in the Auckland Park area, Makhura said.

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