Church leaders want Nehawu to suspend N West strike

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Church leaders in Mahikeng have pleaded with the National Health Education and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) to suspends its strike, the Mahikeng Ministers Fellowship (MMF) said on Tuesday.

Spokesperson Lesiba Kgwele said church leaders held a cordial and fruitful meeting with Nehawu to lay the foundation for the mediation process by church leaders to resolve the current impasse.

“We proposed cessation of hostilities and for the union to suspend the strike pending the conclusion of an independent probe of issues raised by Nehawu in it’s memorandum by a competent authority. This is subject to MMF mediation team with the Executive council task team to break the impasse.”

Nehawu members employed at North West Health and Social Development departments downed tools on February 26.

They are demanding the dismissal of head of department Dr Thabo Lekalakala, termination of contracted companies by the department, bonus payment of five percent across the board to all employees in the department, payment of occupation specific dispensation (OSD) for employees at provincial office and increase of Community Health Workers salaries.

Kgwele said the meeting to mediate followed reports of increasing deaths following the strike now on its fifth week.

“Intervention by national government might be sought if parties to the dispute do not demonstrate the concomitant resolve to address issues for normality to be restored,” the interdenominational church leaders forum said.

North West premier Supra Mahumapelo on April 5 appointed a team to intervene at the provincial health and social development departments.

Education and Sport Development MEC Sello Lehari would lead the team made of three MECs (Members of Executive Council).

The team would work with the Health MEC Dr Magome Masike and Social Development MEC Hoffman Galeng to resolve issues which were the center of a strike action by the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union members.