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City’s clinics will be open – MEC

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The Office of the MEC for Health met with representatives of the CHWs following the recent protest action that led to the closures of clinics across the city

File photo: INLSA

THE MEC for Health has given the assurance that clinics across Kimberley will be open for business today following protest action by community health workers (CHW), who last week shut down clinics across the city.

More than 200 CHWs on Thursday shut the doors at clinics in Roodepan, Galeshewe, Phutanang and Greenpoint and prevented nurses from entering, while burning tyres and protesting outside the facilities.

By Friday, clinics in Beaconsfield, Floors, Platfontein and Kimberley had also been shut down.

The CHWs were demanding a minimum wage of R3 500 per month, as well as backpay of R1 000 per month, from June. The workers are currently earning salaries of R2 500 per month, which had by Thursday not been paid.

Yesterday, the Office of the MEC for Health met with representatives of the CHWs following the recent protest action that led to the closures of clinics across the city.

“The protest demonstration comes after the MEC for Health, Fufe Makatong, concluded her Province-wide roadshow to appraise community health workers on a departmental process plan to implement the Public Health and Social Development Sectoral Bargaining Council (PHSDSBC) Resolution 1 of 2018: Agreement on the standardisation of remuneration for community health care workers in the Department of Health. The roadshow was prompted by fears and uncertainty raised by community health care workers across the Province, which necessitated Makatong to allay fears pertaining to the future of this programme. Makatong could not comprehend the logical basis for the protest action as the plans are in advance stages towards the implementation of the resolution to the benefit of all care workers across the Province,” Department of Health spokesperson, Lebogang Majaha, said.

He added that yesterday’s meeting resolved that operations at health care facilities will not be affected and Makatong will be “allowed space to this week process concerns raised by labour unions”.

The South African Liberated Public Sector Workers Union (Salipswu) provincial organiser, Thapelo Thole, also confirmed that the protest action would be suspended and all clinics will be open by today.