The National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU) protested at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on 3 September 2020 against the lack of improvements at public health facilities in the country.
Chanting “away with Tito, away with PPE tenders” the protestors’ outcry that has not taken care of them during the Covid19 pandemic.
Addressing the members, NEHAWU General secretary, Mr Zola Saphetha, said it is heartbreaking that the very same people who are called essential workers, get inhumane treatment from the government.
“When our members complain about PPE’s, they are threatened with expulsion and that is what has prompted us to come to the Union Buildings to say, enough is enough,” said Mr Saphetha.
He said the government needs to do away with the tender systems because it gives corrupt politicians the opportunity to perform their mischievous acts.
Mr France Mhlobo, a professional nurse, said frontline health workers should be protected, “but instead government officials loot the same budget meant for PPEs while health workers die daily because of their negligence.
On the memorandum, NEHAWU listed 15 demands that should be considered by the government to satisfy the frontline worker’s needs. Some of the issues are salary increments and put an end PPE tenders.
“We expect the government to respond before 10 September 2020,” says Mr Khaya Xaba, NEHAWU Gauteng provincial spokesperson.
He said if their demands are not met by the 10th, it will leave them with no choice but to put down tools and endure to a massive protest.
“We expect the government to respond positively if they do not want to see a crisis in the country.
“We hope our memorandum will reach a receiving ear to deal with these issues as we believe that they are reasonable,” said Mr Xaba.