Health workers embark on strike in Mpumalanga

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The National Health Education & Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) in Mpumalanga has accused the Health Department of failing to improve working conditions in different health institutions in Bushbuckridge.

Some health officials downed tools this week after accusing the department of failing to provide them with equipment.

They claim that some clinics and offices are dilapidated and they pose a danger to workers among other things.

Nehawu secretary, Welcome Mnisi, has warned that they will organise a mass action should the department fail to resolve the issues their members have raised.

“Should it happen that these issues are not resolved as a union in the entire province we are going to mobilise against the department.”

Meanwhile, Health Department spokesperson, Dumisani Malamule, has admitted that the issues that the workers have raised are genuine and they are being attended to.

“Those concerns relate to infrastructure challenges in some of the offices in Hhoshane in Bushbuckridge. They include a lack of tools like computers, they have a problem with the issue of personal and some payments.”

However, more than 26 health officials have been suspended for embarking on a strike. Malamule says this comes after service delivery was disrupted in some facilities.

“There are some employees who were disrupting services at some clinics and the hospitals of which as the department we find it very disturbing and we cannot allow because the problem is within the employer and employee and that should not affect service delivery for the benefits of the public. Those employees who have been found unable to have caused the disruptions in those various centres they have since been suspended.”

However, Nehawu says it will demand the lifting of the suspension of the workers.