Striking unhealthy for SWC

2010-03-10 18:05

Cape Town - Emergency staff on strike and budget constraints are among the concerns and challenges confronting the health department as it puts final touches to its preparations for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

A strike by staff would leave the department hard pressed to cope in the event of an emergency, its 2010 World Cup director, Peter Fuhri, warned members of Parliament's health portfolio committee on Wednesday.

"Our concern with EMS (emergency medical services) is really that the emergency care practitioner OSD (occupational specific dispensation) has not come out as favourably as some of them would have expected, and our concern there is the issue of strikes during (the World Cup)."


"So we are discussing this very closely with unions (and) the labour organisations to encourage staff not to strike during that period, or to even think about it."

"Because... if the EMS goes on strike, we are looking at strategies, but we are going to be hard pressed to cover our responsibilities in terms of emergency medical services," he said.

The department is tasked with providing infrastructure for a comprehensive medical service, including 24-hour emergency medical treatment and disaster management in the host cities during the 2010 World Cup.

Fuhri also told MPs the department was facing budget challenges, which had delayed its 2010 preparations.


"Budget has been an ongoing problem right from 2006. Unfortunately, Treasury decided to put the budget into the (provinces') equitable share, rather than ring-fencing it, or putting it as a conditional grant."

"So a lot of the money that was destined for 2010, never got to 2010... This has been one of the problems that has delayed us a lot in terms of our preparations, because anything we do costs money... whether it's equipment, personnel on overtime and so forth."

"And this remains a challenge, even today. We have discussed this with Treasury, and obviously the answer is there's no more money. So we have to use whatever we have within the confines of the existing budgets of the provinces."

Speaking to journalists during a break in proceedings, he said the department had asked for a budget of R320m, but received R30m.

Worries downplayed

But speaking later at the briefing, the department's acting deputy director-general of health planning, Carol Marshall, downplayed Fuhri's budget worries.

She said the original budget had been based on a "greenfields" approach and had not taken into account resources already in the system.

While two years ago it was true that money earmarked for 2010 in provinces' equitable share had not always been committed for that purpose, the department was now "organising its resources in a much more integrated way to make sure we meet demands".

This included the provinces.


"What is happening today is that they are putting the resources they do have on the table in order for us to meet the requirements we have."

Marshall conceded, however, that the department had hoped for more money.

"We did have this fond idea that this would be an opportunity for us to access a large amount of additional resources to those that we already had, and what we've had to do is rather improve the efficiency with which we use resources," she said.

Fuhri said the department's preparations for the World Cup kick-off, 92 days from now, were nearing completion.

"By May 15, we will have to be operational in terms of 2010 mode," he said.


Read more on:    strikes  |  2010 swc  |  health

Read News24’s Comments Policy


Inside News24


Cope: Zuma must listen to religious leaders

Cope has called on President Jacob Zuma to listen to religious leaders calling for him to come clean on the Nkandla saga.


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Monday Sir Lowry's Pass - 12:58 PM
    Road name: N2 Westbound
    EXPECT DELAYS due to high volumes
  • Monday Somerset West - 12:58 PM
    Road name: N2 Westbound
    EXPECT DELAYS due to high volumes
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy S III 16GB

There are no straight lines in nature. The Samsung  GALAXY...

From R3515.00

I'm shopping for:


There may be a break through, either through quiet contemplative time to connect to your deep side or forced on you more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.