About 200 members of the National Union of Public Service & Allied  Workers (NUPSAW ) have marched to the North West provincial legislator to hand over a memorandum of grievances and demands. In the memorandum directed at provincial Health MEC Madoda Sambatha, community healthcare workers are demanding to be absorbed into the Department of Health.

Permanent absorption is what marchers have always demanded from the health department. NUPSAW provincial treasurer, Oneilwe Garenamoho, says MEC Sambatha did make a commitment himself to permanently employ the community health workers in the 2021/2022 financial year.

“Everyone was promised to be absorbed as a priority and others were to immediately be sent to school to become nursing assistants upon the expiry of their contracts. The Department of Health has been given ten working days to address the matter,” says Garenamoho.

Nehawu affiliated workers protest in November 2020

In November last year, community health workers affiliated to Nehawu in the North West embarked on protest action last week. They disrupted services at clinics and vandalised property. They say the provincial health department promised them permanent employment, but nothing has been done.

Secretary for Nehawu in the province, Patrick Makhafane, said at the time that more than 10 years has passed since they were promised that health workers would be absorbed by the department.

“Workers want permanent employment which is not delayed and until that is now delivered, really it will be very sad. You will not receive a stable service (sic) in the province and we are afraid and want to say this upfront. If two weeks (passes without) Job Mokgoro and Madoda Sambatha saying anything to us in relation to this matter, and in two weeks, if the president and the minister (do) not say anything in relation to this matter, Nehawu will then have to do programme, which will culminate in us switching off service delivery in public service completely.”