News24 Wire
Wire Service
1 minute read
25 Nov 2020
10:15 pm

‘We are not recognised’ – Healthcare workers protest pay, working conditions

News24 Wire

'We only get R3 500 a month… What is that? Your wages come in and it goes out immediately,' a frustrated Ann Lekoemie said.

Image for illustration. Nurses can be seen working with covid-19 patients in a tent hospital at the Tshwane District Hospital in Pretoria, 10 July 2020. Picture: Jacques Nelles

A group of 200 healthcare workers from communities across the metropole marched to the Western Cape provincial legislature on Wednesday morning.

The group, led by the service delivery and community health worker forums, handed over a memorandum to a Western Cape health department representative.

Personal protective equipment and an additional R2 000 Covid-19 danger allowance were among their demands.

“The Department of Health doesn’t recognise us,” Zisiwe Mfino, a worker from Khayelitsha, said.

Mfino joined her colleagues to make her voice heard.

“I came out today so that we can be recognised and get what we deserve,” she added.

The healthcare workers have been trained to go into communities and provide special care, like bathing patients, dressing wounds and administering medication.

Paid

But many feel they are not getting paid enough for all the work they have to do – and the risks they face.

Ann Lekoemie, who works in Athlone, said her wages were never enough.

“We only get R3 500 a month… What is that? Your wages come in and it goes out immediately,” a frustrated Lekoemie added.

Workers said they were currently on short-term contacts.

“We would like medical aid, and pension … small things like that, we also have families. We aren’t thinking about today. We are thinking about the future,” Lekoemie added.

In the memorandum handed over to the department, workers said they wanted it to make community healthcare workers permanent staff and extensions of NGOs.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.