The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] condemns the high level of arrogance displayed by the North West Department of Health. Instead of engaging the union on the current impasse, the department has resorted to engage us through the media and using court interdicts to try to suppress genuine demands of workers.
The continuous failure by the department and the Provincial Government to engage meaningfully presents a missed opportunity in addressing the ever-deepening crisis of governance in the province. It is worth noting that NEHAWU has been at the forefront of underscoring the horrible working conditions that its members and workers function under and how this has negatively affected service delivery under the current provincial administration.
For a long period of time the public service has been in a deep state of crisis because of gross corruption especially in the Department of Health. Looting of state resources by greedy politicians has led to the collapse of the health sector in the province. The Head of Department and his cronies in the provincial government are guilty of unscrupulous use of political authority for personal gain including the looting of millions by the Gupta-linked Medioca.
On the 20th March 2018 NEHAWU joined by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa [DENOSA] and the Young Communist League of South Africa [YCLSA] embarked on a protest action to highlight the crisis in the Department of Health and the high levels of corruption. Our Provincial Day of Action which was in the form of a march was marred by intimidation and violence from both the police and a rented crowd of hooligans. No amount of intimidation is going to deter us and we shall not hesitate to open cases against those who are hell-bent on denying us our rights to demonstrate as enshrined in the Constitution of the republic.
We will not be tired nor rest until our demands are met by both the Department of Health and the Provincial Government. In this regard, we will continue to call for the following:
• a motion of no-confidence to be passed by our legislature, especially by the ANC which has the responsibility to live up to its manifesto on the fight against corruption and the spirit of Nelson Mandela whose life and contribution to our struggle we are celebrating this year.
• decisive steps to be taken by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation [the Hawks] and the Special Investigating Unit [SUI] to broaden its investigation and prosecution of all those who are implicated in the GUPTA state capture in the province, and not only the HOD Dr Thabo Lekalakala, the Premier Supra Mahumapelo and MEC of Health, Dr Magome Masike. This includes all those involved in the illegal facilitation of the Gupta front of the Mediosa screening services and the siphoning off money to Dubai and those involved in the reported corruption in the purchase of unused ambulances and the outsourcing of this critical health service to the Buthelezi E.M.S. and High Care and the unilateral replacement of supply chain workforce to a private company • An end of the outsourcing of the Human Resource functions to Marang. • An end of the widespread use of leasing of buildings in the Department of Social Development, including the reported disappearance of resources and assets of the department. • And end of the rampant outsourcing in the Department of Human Settlement and Department of Agriculture. • An end of illegal mining in the Department of Public Works. • Investigation and prosecution of the HOD of the Department of Finance regarding the illegal administration of polygraph lie detector on workers in the department. The IT contract in this department must also be investigated. • An end to the gross mismanagement and neglect of the Bophelong Provincial Hospital and Gelukspan Hospital. These institutions have huge shortage of staff and beds, linen and dysfunctional laundry machines which are a serious threat on hygiene for patients and workers in the institution.
Failure to concede to these demands will leave the national leadership with no option but to descend to the province in defense of our members, workers in general and for the ideals of good governance. Both the Department of Health and the Provincial Government have seven days to positively respond to these demands, failure to do so will leave the union with no option but to render the public service unworkable. As NEHAWU, we have an open door policy and available to negotiate should the department have a better attitude that will seek to improve the salaries and the working conditions of workers.
The union want to warn the North West Provincial Government not to take workers and/or at least the union for granted and at this point the national leadership of the union calls upon the North West government to immediately respond through a properly organised meeting with union’s provincial leadership aimed at resolving all issues raised in the handed-over memorandum instead of demonstrating arrogance and being intransigent. On record, it is important to register this point to North West ANC that it is in government through the sweat and toil of our members and workers who travelled the length and breadth of the province mobilising for the ANC decisive elections victory both in 2014 and 2016 in order to take up or resolve issues raised by people and workers in particular.
Failure therefore to do this, makes it difficult for the union to continuously mobilise for the ANC as our support is not automatic and as far as North West province, our support for ANC overwhelming victory in 2019 will be determined by the posture and attitude of the ANC and its government in resolving issues raised. The national office bearers, without any threat, wish to advise the ANC to continuously learn from its mistakes of arrogance and failures to listen to the electorate as experienced in 2016 local government elections to avert any decline at the voting polls as a result of anxiety and anger from its voting base.
The national office bearers of the national union wish to warn the North West ANC and Government not to ignore the resolution of these issues within the ultimatum otherwise that will result into the elevation of the impasse to national level which might negatively impact to union’s participation in processes leading to the forthcoming national general elections in 2019.
Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat
Zola Saphetha (General Secretary) at 082 558 5968;
December Mavuso (Deputy General Secretary) at 082 558 5969;
Khaya Xaba (NEHAWU Media Liaison Officer) at 082 455 2500
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org Visit NEHAWU website: www.nehawu.org.za