KZN SACP vows to block board’s alleged partnership plans for McCord

2013-09-26 00:00

THE SACP in KwaZulu-Natal has accused the board of McCord Hospital of closing down the hospital without considering all other available options.

Provincial secretary Themba Mthembu said yesterday that the hospital’s closure has consequences, to the province and Durban people in particular.

The party accused the board of rushing to close the hospital in order to introduce a private-public-partnership health facility model.

Their intention, he said, was aimed at “pocketing from National Health Insurance budget plans initiatives where they will line up with companies to benefit”.

They vowed to “do all possible to stand in the way against this drive”, Mthembu said in a statement following their provincial executive committee meeting.

He said the SACP wants the hospital to be wholly taken over by government and turned into a public hospital.

The hospital was closed last Friday, a move that prompted unions to take the board to court over the retrenchment of staff.

This was after negotiations between the Health Department and the board broke down after disagreements over the terms of the sale of the hospital.

Moving on to the issue of Cosatu, Mthembu said the SACP has observed organisational challenges within Cosatu, which resulted in worker apathy and the dwindling of confidence in trade unions.

“This reality may be a major factor to the state of politics within the trade union movement currently,” he said, referring to the woes faced by Cosatu amid the suspension of general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi.

He said his party would now enter into dialogue with workers in their workplace to listen to their problems and identify issues that need to be addressed.

Mthembu also confirmed the SACP would throw its weight behind the ANC in the 2014 elections.

“We want to achieve a 70% electoral victory for the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal. This is achievable and possible,” Mthembu said, adding that the SACP would augment the ANC election campaign in the province.

McCord board chairperson Professor Paulus Zulu declined to comment, saying the statements by the SACP have been overtaken by events.

He said there was a joint meeting between the board and the Department of Health yesterday, and that a joint statement will be issued today.

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