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10 May 2018

Hospersa has expressed concerns about the decision of the North West (NW) Premier, Supra Mahumapelo, to reverse his decision to resign.  The Union has again written to the President seeking political intervention from the governing party to solve the “Supra conundrum” which has led to ongoing violent protests and a collapsed health care service in the NW Province.

On 9 May 2018, the NW Premier reversed his decision to resign citing that the NW Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) of the African National Congress (ANC) directed him not to resign.  The Premier has now taken leave of absence while the NW Finance Member of the Executive Council (MEC), Wendy Nelson, has been appointed acting Premier.

“We are shocked by the recent turn of events involving the Premier and fear that service delivery will continue to deteriorate,” said Hospersa Public Relations Officer Kevin Halama.  “The situation in the NW Department of Health (DoH) has become very desperate for many patients that depend on public health care.  The recent protests and the labour unrest have all but shut down the service delivery,” added Halama.

It is reported that at least six (6) clinics around Mahikeng remain closed, while patients had to be evacuated from the Taung, Lehurutshe and Zeerust Hospitals to the now heavily congested Mahikeng Provincial Hospital. In the Klerksdorp area, all surrounding clinics have been closed since the beginning of the week while Ventersdorp Emergency Medical Services (EMS) has also recently shut down.  Hospersa has also received reports of intimidation and assault from its members when they go to work at the affected facilities.  The Union has again written to the President to request urgent intervention to resuscitate the ailing provincial DoH amidst the unrest.

“We have reached a point whereby the President needs to prioritise the crisis at the NW Province,” said Halama.  “Patient care is being compromised on a daily basis and the situation has become very desperate for the many communities that depend on public health care service.  We fear that the recent announcement on the Premier’s non-resignation will spark further unrest and plunge the DoH to new lows,” added Halama.

“We will also continue engaging with the Acting Head of Department at the NW DoH regarding the protection of Hospersa members who are not part of the labour unrest.  We hold strong views that the employer must provide a safe working environment for its employees as enshrined in the Labour Relations Act (LRA).  We encourage our members to report to work if it is safe to do so to ensure that the health care service in the province does not completely collapse,” said Halama.

“It is unfortunate that a political situation has now overshadowed the burning issues affecting the NW DoH which includes corruption and maladministration, filling of vacant funded posts and the need for a forensic investigation into the department.  The President said ‘Thuma Mina [send me]’ hence we appeal to him to urgently address the leadership uncertainty in the NW Province which is holding the delivery of health care service to many communities at ransom,” concluded Halama.



Total words (excluding heading):  510

 For interviews please contact Hospersa Public Relations Officer Kevin Halama – 060-546-8166.

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