This follows the outbreak of the deadly antibiotic-resistant klebsiella infection the unions attribute its outbreak to overcrowding, staff shortages and the CEO’s inability to perform her duties.
Since the outbreak of the infection, seven babies have been infected, and two have since died
To make their anger felt, the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA), National Education Health Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU), Health and Other Services Personnel Trade Union of South Africa (HOSPERSA) and Public Service Association (PSA), took to the streets, ordering the hospital to take their demands seriously.
On Tuesday, August 21, the hospital workers, led by the unions, submitted a memorandum of demands to the Gauteng Department of Health. They made the following demands:
• The investigation of staff recruitment processes.
• The attention that needs to be given to labour relations matters by employing an experienced labour relations officer.
• The removal of the acting nursing manager from the acting post with immediate effect.
• The removal of the CFO from the post with immediate effect, and the investigation of dodgy procurement processes at the hospital.
• The CEO to step down with immediate effect.
• The investigation of the role played by the employees’ wellness and communication officer in relation to the alleged suspicious donations the officer allegedly received, and the involvement of the CEO in the transaction.
• The processes that were followed in the awarding of the canteen tender.
• Dr Sipho Mathaba to be removed from the institution and his post to be investigated with immediate effect.
Branch secretary of DENOSA Lebohang Nkoana said the union had insisted that the demands be attended to as a matter of urgency but complained that there had been no response, “instead the hospital management had sent police to arrest him”.
“What makes us angry is that not only is the department not heeding our call, but we have even written to the MEC, but her office is turning a deaf ear to our demands. Instead of responding, the MEC chose to send a delegation led by Dr Medupe Modisane, the director of hospital services. Their response did not live to our expectations.
“As a result, we have decided to resort to protest march because we want to be heard. We are tired of being undermined while the patients’ lives are in danger because of the hospital’s negligence,” said Nkoana.
The hospital spokesperson Philani Mhlungu confirmed that the hospital did receive the memorandum.
“The memorandum demanded the hospital’s management to step down. It is not the hospital’s responsibility to respond to it, but rather the department itself,” said Mhlungu.
The provincial department of health spokesperson Lesemang Matuka said not all demands would be implemented with immediate effect.
“But those that would be implementable, we would implement soon,” said Matuka.
He added: “The police arrested Nkoana because he violated the court interdict that ordered that protest marches should not result in staff intimidation and vandalism to the infrastructure,” said Matuka.