Union wants answers from Free State MEC

2014-07-11 11:03

(File) (http://www.shutterstock.com)

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

Johannesburg - Free State health MEC Benny Malakoane must explain his department's actions against community healthcare workers, the Health and Other Services Personnel Trade Union of SA (Hospersa) said on Friday.

"It's a sad irony that while community healthcare workers are being charged under Section 12 of the Constitution for an illegal gathering, these workers play a vital role in healthcare at grassroots level in a province where health services at hospitals and clinics have collapsed, and citizens are being denied their right to health care, enshrined in Section 27 of our Constitution," said general secretary Noel Desfontaines.

More than 100 community health workers were arrested in Bloemfontein for staging a night vigil at the health department offices on Thursday.

The vigil was staged after health workers failed to secure a meeting with health MEC Benny Malakoane, the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) said.

The workers and TAC members, mostly older women, took part in a vigil in an attempt to "speak out against the failings in and collapse of the Free State health system", TAC general secretary Anele Yawa said.


Yawa said they had previously demanded a meeting with Malakoane following a sit-in on 27 June. She said the vigil was part of a campaign to remove Malakoane from his position.

Community health workers have been protesting against the termination of their contracts and demanding they be paid.

Desfontaines said the union wanted Malakoane to explain the department's actions - especially in view of the fact that the national department of health has identified primary healthcare as one of the main pillars upon which it would build a refocused health sector incorporating a National Health Insurance.

Those arrested were expected to appear in the Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court on Friday.

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has called for the immediate release of the healthcare workers.

"We demand that police release health workers arrested for taking part in a vigil against the failing health system in the Free State. Every citizen in this country has the right to protest and speak out against the lack of service delivery," said Ncamisile Nkwanyana, the party spokeswoman on health.

The Congress of SA Trade Unions on Thursday called for community health workers to be formally brought into the health care system as employees of the department of health, and unionised.

Read more on:    tac  |  hospersa  |  benny malakoane  |  bloemfontein

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.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

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.