Safe Travel Hub Petition Presented to SHG

Written by on April 3, 2022

HE Governor Dr Philip Rushbrook, on behalf of St Helena Government (SHG), on, Friday 1 April 2022, was presented a petition by organiser John Cranfield and delegation – Tammy Williams and Tracey Corker (see photographs below.

The petition calls for SHG to resolve that the Airlink hub from O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg be moved to Cape Town International Airport and to move the current medical referral arrangement from Netcare Unitas and associated hospitals in Pretoria to the Panorama Hospital and the Panorama Lodge Accommodation in Cape Town.

The Governor has discussed this matter with the Chief Minister, Julie Thomas, who advised the delegation that the petition will initially be considered by the Minister for Health & Social Care, Martin Henry, and Minister for Treasury, Infrastructure & Sustainable Development, Mark Brooks, however the final decision on the response will be taken by the entire Cabinet.

The Covering Letter from petition Organiser John Cranfield.

Honourable Members of Executive Council

1st April 2022


Dear Honourable Members

Please find attached a Petition with overwhelming support from the people of St Helena, Ascension Island, Falkland Islands and online in the United Kingdom and other countries.

The composition of the signatures are as follows:

St Helena                       2369

Ascension Island            250

Falkland Islands             211

Online in the U.K. 507 inc 20 Other Countries

Clearly, this is an indication that the people are overwhelmingly supportive of the changes outlined in the Petition. Honourable Members, the people have spoken and with respect, it is now left for you to deliver on your promises you made to the electorate during your campaigning at the last General Election; “We are for the people, and we will listen to the people”. This will clearly be a test of your resolve.

I wish to make it very clear that the content outlined in the Petition are very clear and specific and any recommendations for any alternative solution is not an option.

Honourable Members, please allow me to share with you an interesting fact. The distance from St Helena to Cape town is 3,100 Kilometers whilst the distance from St Helena to Johannesburg is 3,600 kilometers, some 500 kilometers longer. This equates to approximately 1 hour longer flying time but more importantly, 1 hour of totally unnecessary fuel consumption. Savings on fuel costs is very

important for the island’s economy. This clearly validates and warrants the justification as outlined in the Petition. (Source of information – St Helena Airport).

All governments throughout the world strives to achieve what is commonly known as the three big – “ECONOMY, EFFICIENCY and EFFECTIVENESS”. Honourable Members, our Petition is just one component that aims to give you the necessary leverage to achieve just that.

St Helena Government is already aware of the serious concerns expressed by patients, carers, and clinicians regarding both the service delivery of MSO and the standard of medical care provided in Pretoria. This was acknowledged by the Chief Secretary at the formal meeting of the Public Accounts Committee held on 2″ March 2022. Therefore, with respect, as the current contract with MSO will expire in June this year, I would like to recommend that serious consideration be given to awarding the new contract to Julian and Charmaine Swain in the Western Cape, Cape Town. They were awarded the contract in the mid-2000, when someone in their infinite wisdom, decided to award the new contract to MSO. They were doing a sterling job in managing the health care program for our medical referrals in Cape Town. I can speak from experience as they took care of me when I was admitted to Kingsbury hospital in Cape Town for an operation on my prostate. They visited me regularly for the three days that I was in hospital. I have every confidence that they would provide a far better professional service delivery than MSO is currently doing. They both have a place for the islanders in their heart.

For ease of reference, I have attached a snapshot of the Panorama Hospital and the conveniently close proximity of the adjacent Panorama Lodge Accommodation.

To conclude Honourable Members, on behalf of the people of St Helena, I would be grateful for your prompt attention to this matter and respectfully request a favorable resolution of this petition.

Yours sincerely

John Cranfield Petition Organiser

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