HPCSA condemns acts of violence, intimidation by striking Nehawu members

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The Health Professions Council (HPCSA) says it strongly condemns the recent acts of violence and intimidation against health care workers countrywide as a result of the National Education, Health, and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) strike.

In a statement, the health professions body says the public has the right to access health care centres as a basic human right.

HPCSA President, Professor Simon Nemutandani, is appealing to striking workers to exercise restraint and act within the confines of the law when voicing their grievances.

There are widespread reports of intimidation of health care workers who are reporting for duty and not part of the Nehawu strike.

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has warned the Nehawu’s essential service workers who are on strike, that the no-work-no-pay principle will apply.

He was addressing the National Assembly in the Good Hope Chamber in Parliament during his oral reply session for the first quarter.

Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) Chief Whip Narend Singh wanted to know how police would intervene to curb the violent nature of the strike.

There have been reports that the Nehawu strike is putting the lives of patients at some public health facilities at risk.

Ramaphosa says while workers have freedom of association and to protest, it should be done peacefully.

“The protest that are under way, yes, are well understood. They can express their dissatisfaction, but even as they do so, staying way from work, they must also know that it is on the basis of no-work-no-pay. So, if you don’t go to work, you will not be paid. And if you protest, you must protest very, very peacefully, and we will not allow the lives of our people to be put in danger. And as you correctly said, honourable (Narend) Singh, it is the lives of our people that we have got to safeguard.”

VIDEO: Cyril Ramaphosa’s quarterly Q&A session