Helen Joseph residence staff have nowhere to go

2016-10-06 07:18
Nehawu logo

Nehawu logo

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg – Some staff at Helen Joseph hospital, in Johannesburg, claim management has unconstitutionally kicked them out of their living quarters, a place they have called home for years.

A woman, who works at the hospital as a cleaner, said she would be stranded if she was evicted.

“I don’t have any other family here in Gauteng and the little money that I earn goes to helping my family, which is why I can’t afford to look for my own house,” she told News24 on condition of anonymity.

She has worked at the hospital since 1987 and moved into the living quarters in 2003.

She said those who decided to evict residents of the Suzan Hof residence, had not considered the feelings of its residents.

A nurse told News24 that she was originally from Tembisa, on the East Rand. The only reason she agreed to take the job at Helen Joseph was because accommodation would be provided.

She began working at the hospital in 2009 and moved to the living quarters in 2011.

“They promise people accommodation and then they kick people out.”


According to the Gauteng health department, it was decided during the 2014/2015 financial year to refurbish the Suzan Hof building due to its poor state.

A meeting was subsequently held in April with the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu), Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa), Health and Other Services Personnel Trade Union of South Africa (Hospersa), and the Public Servants Association of South Africa (PSA).

It was agreed that residents would get three months’ notice to move out, by June 30. That date was later extended to September 30.

In a notice addressed to Suzan Hof residents at the time, hospital CEO Dr Raymond Bila said: “Hospital management would like to urge all tenants to start looking for alternative accommodation immediately to avoid disappointments”.

On September 1, the Suzan Hof residents’ committee made a written plea for alternative accommodation to be found for them, saying they had been unable to do so themselves.

“We feel our CEO has acted inappropriately in this manner that he chooses to evict us, even when he is not providing us with an alternative place,” they said.

Legal proceedings

On September 13, the hospital notified Suzan Hof residents that the building would be closed on September 30 to prepare for a “major revamp” and asked them to move out.

It highlighted that they had been given sufficient time to find alternative accommodation.

If they failed to move out, the hospital would institute legal proceedings and the residents would be held liable for any legal costs incurred.

The department told News24 it was only responsible for the housing of nursing students, community service doctors, medical interns, and maintenance employees on standby.

Once the refurbishments were completed, only the above-mentioned employees would qualify to live there, until they had completed their studies.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  health

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
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 24.com 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.