R281 million morgue under construction

Western Cape MEC for Transport and Public Works Donald Grant and Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo at the development of the new morgue in Observatory.

A new state-of-the-art morgue is being built near Groote Schuur Hospital in Observatory and will replace the old one in Salt River.

The project is set to cost an estimated R281 million and will take approximately 23 months.

The provincial departments of Health and Transport and Public Works announced the project last month.

The existing morgue processed the remains of 8 365 bodies between July 2016 and July 2017 and is experiencing pressure.

The new facility will be a three-storey building that will include 26 autopsy tables, four dissection suites with six tables each and two teaching and training dissection suites. The building will accommodate up to 100 visitors to the bereavement centre a day.

Transport and Public Works MEC Donald Grant said the new morgue should be ready by early 2019.

The 10 399 m2 building is designed to incorporate natural light through glazed autopsy rooms and a courtyard that filters light into the working areas.

The public areas are designed to create a tranquil environment focused around green spaces.

The facility will have top forensic services to preserve the integrity of evidence in criminal cases.

“When developing these new facilities it is important that we look beyond our 2030 vision which seeks to give access to person-centred and quality care,” said Health MEC, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo.