The Forensic Pathology Service undertook infrastructural upgrading projects at seven of the province’s 11 forensic mortuaries. This not only improved the working environment but also ensured compliance with occupational health and safety requirements. Working with the Development Bank of Southern
Africa and the Department of Infrastructure Development, the department finalised projects briefs related to the building of three new forensic mortuaries in Johannesburg, Daveyton and Bronkhorstspruit. Stakeholder meetings were held at regional level with the South African Police Service (SAPS),
Hospitals and undertakers to address operational challenges.
During the 2012 16 Days of Activism against Violence against Women and Children the department opened a dedicated clinic for survivors of violence at the main PHC facility in Daveyton, Ekurhuleni. Permission has been granted to establish three similar structures for the treatment of survivors of violence in Sedibeng, Johannesburg and West Rand District. In an effort to strengthen clinical forensic services a meeting was held with the Nursing Council and national DoH about the recognition of a specialty in forensic nursing. Subsequently, Gauteng province hosted a Forensic Nurses Forum with a view to launching the Forensic Nurses Association. Strategies to address areas of under-performance.
The budget does not fully support the approved staff establishment for clinical forensic services and the resulting vacancies mean that the required 24-hour service is not always available. This will be discussed with senior management. Gauteng has the highest number of unnatural deaths in South Africa. The department has prioritised implementation of the National Strategic Framework for Prevention of Non-natural Deaths. It remains the only province reporting on preventive activities in this regard. Implementation of the strategy demands a multi-sectoral approach and the department has secured the collaboration of the departments of Community Safety, Social Development, Education, Local Government and SAPS, as well as certain community structures.