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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

WATCH: Striking Nehawu workers meet their match in Westbury

The residents made it very clear that they would not allow the striking workers to burn tyres and barricade roads outside the hospital.

During ongoing protests by the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu), residents of Coronationville, Westbury and surrounding areas quelled a demonstration outside the Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital.

Volatile strike                                    

On Thursday, Health Minister Joe Phaahla said at least four people had died as a result of the strike action by Nehawu.

Phaahla and Gauteng MEC for Health and Wellness Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko conducted site visits to health facilities affected by protests, beginning with the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital.

The disruptions have taken a toll on South Africans, who cannot access health services as protesters block patients, doctors and healthcare workers from entering the facilities.

Watch: Residents fed up with striking Nehawu workers outside Rahima Moosa Hospital

Warning: Video contains vulgar language. Viewer discretion is urged.

Residents gatvol

In the video, residents can be seen chasing the striking workers away from one of the hospital’s entrances.

“They are chasing the people away that are striking here and messing up the place,” a person in the video said.

In the video, which contains extremely vulgar language, the anger and frustration of the residents is clear. They start by clearing the road of the rocks and burning tyres, and then call for water to extinguish the flames.

The residents also ask the striking Nehawu workers who will clean up the area and remove the debris after the protest.

ALSO READ: WATCH: At least four dead due to Nehawu strike

More lives will be lost

Meanwhile, as the public wage protests across the country continue, patients and healthcare workers fear lives will be lost if demonstrations intensify and protesters intimidate them, leaving hospitals to be run by skeleton staff.

On Thursday, outpatients and healthcare workers were escorted into Gauteng hospitals, using back doors.

According to a caretaker and daughter of 85-year-old Dinah Moilwa, Merriam Segoa, protesters had no regard for patients who needed urgent care.

“We understand their frustrations and they are valid, but at this point the entire country is going to turn against them, because they are putting our lives at risk.”

Warning to striking workers

Phaahla lashed out at healthcare staff who intimidated and threatened other colleagues reporting for duty.

He warned that those suspected of participating in the “violence and disruptions” will face the full might of the law.

“On the one side, we will explore with our legal team criminal charges, but also disciplinary charges will be given to those who have been implicated.”

Health workers have been demanding a 10% wage increase despite the governments unilateral offer of 4.7%.

Additonal reporting by Reitumetse Makwea

ALSO READ: ‘More people will die if Nehawu strike escalates’

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