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LETTER | Our members have the right to down tools

Phoenix was exposed during the July 2021 unrest, when they couldn't manage the influx of corpses of people who died

01 August 2022 - 09:46
About a dozen bodies lie on the floor at the Phoenix mortuary. Staff say conditions at the facility are unbearable and the department of health is not listening to them.
About a dozen bodies lie on the floor at the Phoenix mortuary. Staff say conditions at the facility are unbearable and the department of health is not listening to them.
Image: Supplied

As the Public Servants Association in KwaZulu-Natal, we are very concerned with the poorly maintained and managed mortuary services in our province. 

This problem has been there for years. We warned the department of health when they decided to close one of the mortuaries in Gale Street, Durban.

Phoenix was exposed during the July 2021 unrest, when they couldn't manage the influx of corpses of people who died. 

Our members are placed at risk because of the shortage of cleaning chemicals for disinfecting, there is a shortage of staff including doctors who perform postmortems, and there is a lack of training for those who collect bodies.

The department of health needs to investigate the state of our mortuaries in the province and allocate additional human capital and resources to attend to this crisis. 

We are aware that the management and MEC are fixing old problems, but we need time frames and speed in resolving these issues. 

Our members have the right to down tools if the environment is not safe to work in.

Mlungisi Ndlovu

Durban

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