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Impact of the strike action on healthcare

Nokwanda Dlangamandla | kzn@radioislam.org.za
2 min read | 13:20 PM (CAT)

Photo Credit: IOL

On Tuesday, thousands of public employees went on strike in eight provinces, calling for a 10% pay raise in light of the rising cost of living.

This “National Day of Action”; is the third that labour has organised throughout the country this year alone.

The protest action comes as Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana stated that the government could only afford an average wage of 3.3% increase during his mini-budget statement in October.

Go-slows and stay-away orders were part of the protest at hospitals, clinics, police stations, home affairs offices, and schools.

Radio Islam International discussed the impact of the protest on healthcare services with Health Department spokesperson Foster Mohale, who said that the most affected province by the protest action was Gauteng, with other areas experiencing minor difficulties.

“The strike had a dent on our provisioned selected provinces and also within few facilities; Gauteng was the hardest hit by the protest action, especially the bigger health facilities like Chris Hani and Baragwanath hospital,” he said.

He added that some patients had been impacted by the protesters attacking individuals at work, and some support staff could not report for duty.

However, the department managed to calm the situation as they called for help from law enforcement.

“The services continued because we sought intervention from the law enforcement agencies who came to our rescue,” said Mohale.

He added that the impact was not severe as only the nurses went to the protest while the doctors remained on duty, attending to the patients. Additionally, Mohale denounced individuals who participated in the strike and stated that the essential workers would be subject to the no work, no pay policy.

Mohale urged essential workers to remember their pledge to protect life.

Foster Mohale, Spokesperson for the Gauteng Health Department, spoke to Annisa Essack on Your World Today. Listen to the interview here.

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