It's not our fault‚ says Nehawu on North West violent protests

24 April 2018 - 14:17 By Kgaugelo Masweneng
Police patrol the area during violent protests on April 19, 2018 in Mahikeng. File photo. The protests were reportedly sparked by the death of two locals who couldn't get help at a clinic because of an ongoing Nehawu strike in the province. There’s also calls for premier Supra Mahumapelo's resignation.
Police patrol the area during violent protests on April 19, 2018 in Mahikeng. File photo. The protests were reportedly sparked by the death of two locals who couldn't get help at a clinic because of an ongoing Nehawu strike in the province. There’s also calls for premier Supra Mahumapelo's resignation.
Image: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Tiro Ramatlhatse

The National Education‚ Health and Allied Workers’ Union [Nehawu] has rejected the notion that the current crisis in North West’s public health sector is due to its ongoing strike action.

The union is of the view that its demands are reasonable and that “if left unresolved‚ will lead to the total collapse of the government system in the province‚ a situation we had hoped will be avoided”.

Zola Saphetha‚ general secretary of Nehawu‚ said that before the strike had begun‚ the department had already been confronted by challenges of lack of medication‚ linen and bedding‚ lack of proper meals for patients and medical equipment.

“The communities were affected by these challenges way before the strike and some of these challenges are the reason we decided to embark on a strike action‚” said Saphetha.

Saphetha‚ who was speaking at a briefing in Braamfontein‚ Johannesburg‚ on Tuesday‚ said if the union’s grievances were not addressed by May 18‚ it would mobilise its members in other provinces to join in a national strike in solidarity with North West.

The union has welcomed the call for Premier Supra Mahumapelo to step down as it believes “that the crisis in the Department of Health took place under his nose”.

Saphetha said they were pleading for an audience with President Cyril Ramaphosa on the matter.

Over the past few months health services have ground to a halt in many parts of North West due to the strike by Nehawu. That situation was exacerbated last week when violent service delivery protests erupted‚ leading to many roads being shut down.


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