Members of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) staged a demonstration outside the head office of the Department of Health Wednesday (yesterday) morning.
A group of workers dressed in Nehawu attire was singing and dancing at the street entrance of the premises when Polokwane Observer arrived on the scene at 08:30.
Nehawu Regional Treasurer Mmakgabo Cindi explained that the reason for the demonstration was to voice workers’ dissatisfaction with the fact that the Department of Health refuses to pay incentives that are applicable to post levels 2 and 3 since 2012. “Workers are also concerned about the high vacancy rate and are unhappy with management that are like wheelbarrows that have to be pushed to deal with matters affecting workers, Cindi said.
According to Cindi, Nehawu exhausted all avenues and negotiated at the level of the Premier and Phophi Ramathuba, Health MEC, but no final outcome has been reached.
“People elected by us and being deployed to do their work, are not functional,” Cindi said and added that no memorandum will be handed over as the department has received many memoranda during the last six months.
Health Department Spokesperson Derick Kganyago was also present and said to Polokwane Observer that the department was surprised by the protest action. “The department is currently negotiating with the employees to reach an agreement, but they locked out management and staff this morning and insist that they only want to know the date when the incentives will be paid out,” Kganyago said.
Kganyago assured that it is the department’s intention to resolve the matter as soon as possible.
Story & photos: BARRY VILJOEN