Staffers march; KTC guard shot

2015-04-30 06:00

Staff from various clinics in Khayelitsha held a demonstration outside the Stocks and Stocks Municipal building in Ilitha Park on Friday where they handed over a memorandum of grievances to authorities.

Mandla MAhashe

Staff from various clinics in Khayelitsha held a demonstration outside the Stocks and Stocks Municipal building in Ilitha Park on Friday where they handed over a memorandum of grievances to authorities. PHOTO: Mandla MAhashe

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Khayelitsha health workers say that although they are fed up with their district managers, they will continue working.

The group of professional workers from five Khayelitsha clinics marched to the Stocks and Stocks municipal building in Ilitha Park to handover a memorandum of grievances against their district management.

The three managers embroiled in the controversy are Dr Virginia Azivido, Sharieff Patel and Bukelwa Mbalane.

“The members have a list of complaints labelled against the district management.

The biggest issue is the cancellation of the three year employment contracts without explanation from management,” said Stanley Yisaka, SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) organiser.

He said that workers were also angry about the working conditions at the sites, including lack of safety.

“Managements has repeatedly failed to deal with safety concerns at the clinic. Staff members are robbed at knife and gunpoint at clinics but nothing is being done about it,” Yisaka explained.

He said that the workers continue to suffer abuse from management such as being given a “huge work load and given unrealistic targets”. The resources are limited but the management expects the staff to do their best, he said.

A clerk who did not want to be named said that the shortage of staff makes their workload unbearable.

“The clinics are small and there are many people while staff numbers are dwindling...

Clients then take it out on staff, accusing them of not doing their work well. They don’t know the circumstances that we are forced to work in,” he said.

He said that staff in many clinics did not feel safe as regular robberies took place on their way to and from work.

“To us it seemed that the management does not really care because we have been complaining since 2012, but nothing has come of it to date,” he shared.

Workers handed over a memorandum of grievances to City official Sandile Bhontsa. The said they will continue working but vowed to march if they do not receive positive feedback by 4 May 2015.

Siyabulela Mamkeli, mayco member for health, said that the City is engaging the staff regarding the grievances.

“However, given the lack of progress made, a CCMA commissioner was appointed as a neutral party to investigate the issues. The hearing was booked to take place in March 2015.

Unfortunately, SAMWU was not available and the investigation had to be postponed to mid-May,” he said.

He said that it was not allowed for health workers to go on strike. He said that all parties had met the CCMA commissioner where processes put in place.

“It is therefore very unfortunate that some staff members have taken to the streets, causing great inconvenience and disruptions to services – negatively impacting on the affected communities,”he said.

He urged the staff to allow the relevant investigation to run its course.

.In Gugulethu, staff at the KTC Day Hospital were left reeling after a security area manager was shot outside the centre last Friday.

Mark van der Heever, provincial health spokesperson said: “This has affected the staff psychologically and as part of standard debriefing they met with the facility management and the substructure management to raise and address their concerns around safety and security,”said .

He said that this was also communicated to the patients and they were guaranteed that services will continue as usual and there is no indication of a strike by staff

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