DENOSA KZN to challenge the ridiculous and senseless eviction of nurses from residences to make way for foreig...

Media statement 

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Lawyers of the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) are busy putting up a legal challenge to the ridiculous and most senseless eviction order that the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health has obtained from the court to evict nurses at two of the hospital residences in the province to make space for accommodating foreign doctors. 

They are busy making themselves look good to the foreign guests at the expense of ill-treating nurses at King Edward Hospital where they have obtained an eviction order. As if that was not embarrassing enough, they are now harassing nurses at Wentworth Hospital and are obtaining an order. No amount of reasoning by DENOSA to them against this bad idea held any water. They responded to DENOSA’s communication by saying they have referred the matter to their Legal Services at Head Office, as if that is the best thing after sliced bread! 

While this abhorrent attitude by the department is no longer surprising due to government’s heartlessness character towards health workers lately, there was still a low level of expectation remaining that they would still be respectful enough to the laws that prevent evictions during a national lockdown. But alas!

That they are chucking out nurses to make way for foreign health professional speaks volumes about the new lows of disrespect for South African healthcare workers who are still bearing scars of loss and neglect from one of the world’s biggest pandemics because of their poor support during COVID-19. And now they want to put the final nail in the coffin of nurses’ prolonged misery by making them homeless. 

“This attack on healthcare workers, after what they went through during COVID-19, is completely irrational, insensitive and downright inhumane,” says DENOSA Provincial Secretary, Mandla Shabangu. 

“We view the reasons advanced by Wentworth Hospital management as very divisive among workers. This attitude is simply undermining your own. We are getting legal interventions on both King Edward and Wentworth hospitals’ evictions. Workers will continue to be abused even when you speak sense to the Department, because their ears and eyes are closed tightly.” 


Issued by DENOSA in KwaZulu-Natal

For more information, contact:

Mandla Shabangu, DENOSA KZN Provincial Secretary

Cell: 071 643 3369 

Tel: 031 305 1417

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DENOSA statement on the assault of its provincial leaders and shop stewards by leaders of the other union at L...

Media statement 
Tuesday, 15 September 2020
The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) is disappointed to learn of the assault of three of its Gauteng Provincial Office Bearers (POB) and two of its provincial officials by members, including national leaders, of another trade union at the Louis Pasteur Private Hospital in Pretoria today when they had come to consult with their members on the ongoing issues affecting workers at the facility. 
DENOSA takes this highest form of provocation very seriously as it interferes with the organisation’s right to exist and represent its members. DENOSA is appealing to all its members to identify the perpetrators in this barbaric act, as circulating on social media, so they can be held accountable.  
DENOSA Gauteng Chairperson, cde Simphiwe Gada; Deputy Chairperson who also serves as COSATU Gauteng Deputy Chairperson, Thabang Sonyathi; Provincial Treasurer, Jessica Mathebula; Provincial Organiser, Mamagadi Kgonodi; and full-time shop steward, Bolokang Montwedi, were all assaulted when they had come to consult with their shop steward at the institution, to fulfill their obligation towards their members as enshrined in the Labour Relations Act, Chapter III Section 12 (1). 
DENOSA provincial leaders had an appointment with our members and shop stewards at the institution, as they had been frequenting the facility for a couple of weeks now since there are issues concerning our members’ interest and livelihood. 
Upon entering the facility, they greeted fellow workers whom they saw were picketing outside the facility as worker struggles are not along trade union affiliation line. Upon their exit, however, members of the Young Nurses Indaba union, including national leaders, disappointingly, confronted them and pelted them with hard objects. 
The assault continued until the police fire stern grenades to disperse them. Video evidence, including perpetrators is circulating on social media networks. We are following up on this matter with the view to seeking justice and to protect our right to represent our members at that institution.
In this barbaric behaviour, they were pelted with hard objects like eggs, milk and hard containers and had their belongings damaged, including prescription glasses and gadgets. 
The attack to DENOSA for gaining access to its shop stewards and members by another trade unions is embarrassing and likely to create more tensions among nurses themselves and take the focus from the common struggle of all workers. It also bears testimony to poor foresight by leaders on worker issues. 
DENOSA is appealing to all its shop stewards to emulate their leaders in the province who responded by being calm when they were provoked in the highest form of humiliation and attack.  
Furthermore, DENOSA is reminding its shop stewards and members of the organisation’s values of respect and thoughtfulness before getting carried away by emotions.
In the end, workers could become the ultimate victims of circumstances as they could easily lose their income because of the egotism by unions who market themselves and show a ‘paper tiger-like’ militancy at their expense.             
We call for high moral and high discipline amongst its forces. 
Issued by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) 
For more information, contact:
Cassim Lekhoathi, DENOSA Acting General Secretary 
Mobile: 082 328 9671 
Simon Hlungwani, DENOSA President
Mobile: 082 328 9635 
Tel: 012 343 2315 
Facebook: DENOSA National Page 
Twitter: @DENOSAORG 

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Media statement
Attention: All Media Houses
Sunday, 30 August 2020
The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) Student Movement remains livid with the continuous failure of the Gauteng Department of Health to pay full salaries to community service nurses as agreed in 2019 and will join the 2020 group next week Monday, the 31st August 2020, as they all meet with the senior management of the Department. 
This is their fight and they must lead it and determine what is to be done. We condemn any attempt to hijack this struggle for cheap points.
Hundreds of community service nurses in Gauteng took to the streets of Johannesburg on the morning of July 24, 2019 where they delivered a memorandum of demands to the MEC over delayed payment of their community service salaries. As a result of the same march, the DENOSA Gauteng Provincial Student Movement (GPSM) met on several occasions after the “2019 Gatvol Community Service March” with the Gauteng Department of Health (GDOH) senior management. 
In these meetings, it was agreed that the 2020 Community Service Professional Nurses would be translated as from the commencement of their community service month and be paid full salaries of community service nurses.
We followed up on the matter again this year in April and empty promises were given by the department of health. HR offices continued with their arrogance towards our members when they enquire about their hard earned wages. This undermines the efforts of the nurses' devoted service to the community and the lies demonstrate a middle finger thrown at the labour movement. 
It tells us that talk is no longer fruitful and attitude is the language they want to speak. With that said, the only response we want to receive is that they will place all professional Nurse Community service practitioners into their rightful posts and release all benefits according to OSD immediately.
We further advised the Department of Health that for 2020 the GDoH ought to learn from Mpumalanga on how to pay community service nurses like all other health professions, paying community service nurse as soon as the beginning of community service. Community service is compulsory as stipulated in the Nursing Act and the National Department of Health sends to a province a number of professional nurses according to indication by the province of how many community service post are readily available for the preceding year. 
Secondly, proof of registration is the college's confirmation and SANC registration fee as shown in the receipts under the category community service and therefore are sufficient to be submitted for translation pending the submission of "certificate of Registration" and Diplomas/Degrees that can be submitted later in the year. This calls for the Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize to look at implementing a standard approach in all provinces. 
Despite all the advice, once again this year Community Service Professional Nurses are not paid, not appreciated and exploited as they are expected to work as Professionals whilst earning a student stipend. In a province with severe staff shortages, community service nurses are expected to be fully effective especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, yet the department fails to show any sign of appreciation towards them. 
The attitude of the HR department is uncalled for and they are forever unwilling to assist new employees. There have been many circulars released by the HOD which have not been implemented by the HR departments of districts or institutions and the HOD must account for such behaviour. The department must stop exploiting our labour. To date, some have received little or no uniform allowance but are expected to be in full uniform, report to work on time, find their own accommodation etc, all on a mere student stipend.
The 2020 group demands are simple:
• Immediately translate into the correct notch and back-pay all 2020 Community Service Professional Nurses. 
• Immediately pay all community services nurses who have received a reduced amount or no amount at all the correct standardized uniform allowance amount. 
• Absorb all Community Service 2020 nurses into Professional Nurse Post’s as early as January 2021. 
• Urgently attend to the continuous chronic failures of the Human Resource department in the Province. 
We do not want to witness this again in the following years. It is no secret that this is brought about by the change in funding model for nursing education. The PERSAL system was appropriate and didn’t have challenges such as this one. 
We say to the 2020 group that we will support any of their initiatives without fail. The COVID-19 pandemic must not be used as an excuse to avoid the plight of workers or a tool to weaken the organisation and unity of the working class. 
For more information, contact:
Sphumelele Blose, National secretary
Cell: 079 300 4409
Nathaniel M Mabelebele, National Chairperson
Cell: 071 684 1646

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Trauma Nursing Matters...

Evidence based practice: Is cricoid pressure effective in preventing gastric aspiration during rapid sequence intubation in the emergency department?

By Ntombifuthi Jennet Ngiba (BN) (UKZN).

There is on-going change within trauma nursing due to increased research in the area. Practices have been routinely adopted as the norm, but subsequently on further examination proven to be useless and more of a risk to the patient (Moore & Lexington, 2012). Research has brought into question practices or techniques such as the application of cricoid pressure during rapid sequence tracheal intubation. This practise was goaled at preventing the regurgitation of gastric content into the pharynx and subsequent aspiration into the pulmonary tree, but now questioned.

Cricoid pressure was briefly defined by Sellick in 1961 as a method used to reduce the risk of aspiration during the induction phase of anaesthesia. Sellick`s technique was to apply backwards pressure to the cricoid cartilage, compressing the oesophagus against the underlying vertebral body (Ellis, Harris & Zideman 2007; Priebe 2005). In this application of pressure the oesophageal lumen is occluded, preventing the passage of regurgitated gastric content into the pharynx and subsequent aspiration into the pulmonary tree (Stewart et al, 2014). Cricoid pressure is incorporated into the overall approach in reducing the chances of aspiration through rapid sequence induction of anaesthesia (Ellis et al., 2007; Priebe 2005). Over the years rapid sequence induction has been adapted by emergency physicians to allow ventilation as required to prevent hypoxia and subsequently termed “rapid sequence tracheal intubation”. Rapid sequence tracheal intubation (RSTI) is now the most widely used technique for tracheal intubation in the emergency department (ED) and cricoid pressure is taught as a standard component of emergency airway management (Ellis et al., 2007).

Despite inadequate scientific evaluation of the risks and benefits of cricoid pressure it is adopted as an integral component of rapid sequence intubation in EDs. No randomised controlled trials have shown any benefit of its use during rapid sequence intubation (Trethewy, Burrows, Clausen & Doherty, 2012). Furthermore, the application of cricoid pressure may be linked to increased risks to the patient such as  impeding airway management, prolonging intubation time by concealing laryngeal view, inducing nausea/vomiting and oesophageal rupture with excessive force (Ellis et al., 2007; Priebe 2005;Trethewy, et al, 2012). Paradoxically, cricoid pressure may promote aspiration by relaxing the lower part of the oesophagus (Ellis et al., 2007). Some case reports note that tracheal intubation was impeded by cricoid pressure and regurgitation occurred despite application of cricoid pressure, possibly due to its improper application (Trethewy, et al, 2012). According to Bhatia, Bhagat and Sen (2014) the application of cricoid pressure increases the incidence of lateral displacement of the oesophagus from 53% to 91%.

However despite this evidence and the outcome of Trethwy’s (2012) RCT the judicial system appears guided in its judgement by outdated practises. A judge in UK ruled against an anaesthesiologist for failing to apply cricoid pressure to a patient with irreducible hernia who had regurgitated and aspirated. The judge argued that “We cannot assert that cricoid pressure is not effective until trials have been performed, especially as it is an integral part of anaesthetic technique that has been associated with a reduced maternal death rate from aspiration since the 1960's” (Bhatia et al. 2014). Therefore one may say that despite cricoid pressure entering medical practice on limited evidence and only supported by common sense, it somehow remains the practice of choice (Bhatia et al., 2014).

Thus it is about time nurses and doctors embrace evidence-based practice within the emergency department and let go of traditional practice that are proven to do more harm than good. There is still a great need for further evidence-based practice within the emergency department, to investigate the validity of the notion that cricoid pressure prevents regurgitation.

Ntombifuthi Jennet Ngiba is a Professional Nurse at Greytown Hospital.


Bhatia N, Bhagat H & Sen I. (2014). Cricoid pressure: Where do we stand? J Anaesthesiol Clin Pharmacol, Vol 30 pp 3 – 6.

Ellis D.Y, Harris T & Zideman D. (2007). Cricoid pressure in the emergency department rapid sequence tracheal intubations: a risk-benefit analysis. American College of emergency physicians.Vol 50, pp 653 – 665. 

Moore K & Lexington K.Y (2012). Evidence-based practise guidelines for trauma care. Journal of emergency nursing. Vol 38, pp 401-402.

Priebe H.J, (2005). Cricoid pressure: an alternative view. Elsevier. Germany.

Stewart J.C, Bhananker S, & Ramaiah R. (2014). Rapid-sequence intubation and cricoid pressure. J Crit Illn Inj Sci, Vol 4, pp 42 - 49.

Trethewy C.E, Burrows J.M, Clausen D & Doherty S.R. (2012). Effectiveness of cricoid pressure in preventing gastric aspiration during rapid sequence intubation in the emergency department: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. BioMedCentral. Australia. Retrieved 04 August 2016:


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National changes in nursing training: South African perspectives 2015...

Dr. Respect Mondli Miya,(D.Lit et Phil)

Senior Lecturer: Psychiatry at Durban University of Technology, Department of Nursing Science


Nursing is a career of love rooted in rich and fertile soil governed by caring ideologies and philosophies. Individuals within the profession have strong and inexplicable desires to serve and preserve humanity at all cost. The nursing profession drives the health care system and is forever in the forefront of preventing, promoting and management of various diseases.  Nurses have always been there and have survived trials and tribulations. Nursing demands not only the brain for cognitive purposes but a humble heart, selflessness in daily duty execution. An individual without passion for the sick will never survive a minute of nursing’s demanding tasks.

Nursing novices are professionally socialized and groomed on their first day of training. Noble traditions of nursing are gradually unpacked and monitored up to graduation to enhance relevance and dignity of nursing profession. Nursing demands the utmost respect for humanity even after death itself. Most professions have minimum set of working hours yet nursing philosophy calls and promotes dedication beyond duty. Nursing is a way of living not just mere qualification written on papers but lived and experienced charisma. 

Historically, nursing was viewed as a religious vocation and was predominantly religious in nature which explains chapels, and meditation designated facilities utilized for prayers before commencing daily duties in old hospitals. Nursing training in South Africa before 1976 was hospital-based hence the notion of viewing nursing as a “hands-on” career has been accepted nationally and acknowledged by most prolific nursing scholars who remain sceptical to have nursing pitched at a degree level and offered in higher training of education in South Africa.   

Such training exposed and subjected nurses to poor recognition as a career.  Nurses were abused and viewed as medical officers’ hand maids who were good for nothing but to offer a bed pan, bathing the sick, and carry orders as prescribed without being objective. The training at that time was strict and limiting, even the scope of practice was limited and nobody could imagine a degree in nursing or university based nursing teaching and learning. Hospitals mostly trained nurses in general nursing and later midwifery.

Around 1987, nursing in South Africa was gradually introduced in tertiary education system and scope of practice and curriculum were amended. Nursing graduates were introduced to a 4-year degree obtaining general, psychiatry, midwifery and community health nursing. That made older nurses to feel bitter and never fully accepted university graduates as satisfactorily trained. Even medical officers were threatened and witness role change from nurses as hand maids into fully recognized members of the multidisciplinary health team with independent roles and functionality. These changes failed to bridge the gap of scope of practice and remuneration packages. Even to this date, the university and hospital trained nurses earn the same salary and follow same stream of training regulated by the same nursing Act 50 of 1978 as amended with specification stipulated in Regulation 425 (R.425).

The nursing act 33 of 2005 introduced community service of one year post- training for both hospital- and university-trained individuals. Errors still exist within the nursing education such as same recognition of a hospital and university trained graduate have similar scope of practice, universities are allowed to implement R425 differently. For example, some South African universities train students for six months in midwifery while others dedicate two full years for midwifery and three years for community health nursing which is offered for six months in colleges and some universities. The problem in South Africa is that there is one R.425 and implemented differently from one university to the other.

The current health ministry is proposing nursing training restructurization. In the proposal dated 23 July 2015, it recommends reintroduction of the old nursing training system with a hope of extending the nursing training duration and to phase out the R.425 of Act 50 (1978). The current proposal overlooks scope of practice and remuneration packages of such graduates irrespective of their qualification which is an error not even Occupational Specific Dispensation (OSD) could resolve in 2007. OSD failed to address issues of salaries in the nursing fraternity; an obvious error is that a nursing lecturer is graded as a nursing specialist.

The unresolved question here is: Who teaches the other? And why do they earn same salary if the other is a teacher? Up to the very same date, the public health system continues to fail to distinguish university graduates from hospital nursing graduates yet continues to differentiate auxiliary social worker from a University graduate Social Worker, and experienced Medical Officer from a Master of Medicine graduate. Why not with nursing in South Africa? 

The proposed training changes are as follows: general nursing and midwifery be done in a college over a period of four years without indicating whether that shall be Bachelor of nursing offered in a college which can never materialize as colleges do not offer degrees but universities do. If agreed upon, this will mean degrading the dignity of nursing as a profession over medicine which continues to be offered in the university without interruptions.

According to the proposed plan, nursing training is extended to 9 years (four year of midwifery and general, 18 months of psychiatry and one year of community health) which is unnecessary waste of time for an undergraduate qualification yet medicines years of training have been reduced to 5 years (MBCHB).


There is absolutely no need for such drastic changes in the nursing education.  It is alarming to witness MBCHB years of training have been reduced to five years and get paid a satisfactory remuneration package compared to Bachelor of Nursing graduates with stagnant remuneration. The introduction of Masters Degree in Medicines in South Africa is preparing sound clinical researchers and such projects (thesis and dissertations) are evaluated by nursing professors who in turn receive less recognition and degrading salaries compared to MMed graduates.

The South African health system requires the following:

1.     Strong and vocal task team of nursing professors who shall preserve the image and dignity of nursing as a profession and strongly oppose plans to change nursing training.

2.     No college shall be allowed to offer a bachelor of nursing, strictly universities only.

3.     Salary packages to be reviewed and sort clear distinction of a university graduate over a hospital trained graduate.

4.     Revised scope of practice, degree holders be given more opportunity to execute complex clinical procedures and be given better remuneration packages.

5.     Chief Nursing Officer to be more vocal and avoid external influences to disorganise nursing training.

6.     Hospitals to create portfolios and acceptable remuneration packages for all nursing qualifications from a diploma to PHD level.

7.     All South African universities to adopt and implement similar training structure  that is two years of midwifery, two years of psychiatry and two years of community health nursing

8.     Develop a Nursing Ministry by nurses with nurses and for nurses.

9.     MBCHB degree be afforded same status as B.Cur degree thereafter if need be.

10.  South African nursing council to be headed by prolific PHD holders and nursing qualifications be regulated and registered up to PHD level.

11.  Any qualification obtained outside university be regarded as either associate professional nurse and associated medical office until related exam has been endorsed by the regulating body.

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We are professionals, and let us fight to be recognised as such… 
Vuyolwethu Mashamayite - 20150728_073623
By Vuyolwethu Mashamaite 
Ever since I joined nursing in 2005 I have heard nurses say nursing is a ‘calling’ and it's not about money. I couldn't understand why they said so and I still don't.   
I believe that everyone is called by God to be in the profession or job they are doing, unless nurses consider themselves in the same umbrella as ‘Sangomas’ and ‘Preachers’. Those are the people who will leave their profession or jobs and focus on their calling or do both, regardless of whether they are paid or not. 
Perhaps this could be the reason why nurses are under-paid and left to work in extreme unfavourablecircumstances ...because it’s a "Calling".
Don't get me wrong; I have passion and great respect for human life as a nurse. But I cannot keep quiet. Nurses are the most abused professionals by the employer because they consider themselves "called" instead of being employed professionals.
Nurses you are jack of all trades doing everyone's jobs from a cleaner to a doctor but come pay day you are the ones who cry the most because you are underpaid while doing everyone's jobs. I guess it's the consequences of having been “called" instead of being professional.
We feel so comfortable working out of our scope of practice to an extent that we run a risk of performing tasks that we are not equipped to do. When told it's not your scope of practice you tell us of how long you've been doing this and you didn't kill anyone. But the South African Nursing Counci (SANC) is out there nailing nurses and not considering your "calling" but rather your profession and scope of practice.
What hurts the most is the fact that you studied for four years and someone from another discipline who studied the same years is treated and paid better than you. I guess they are professionals and you are in a "calling". 
Nurses, let's STOP hiding behind "CALLING" and start taking our profession seriously. If you don't do it, no one will do it for you. Like it or not we are professionals and let us fight to be recognised as such. 
Vuyolwethu is a nurse based in Kimberley, Northern Cape   

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Nursing Update

August 2020

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About us

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) in its current form was established on 5 December 1996.

The organisation was formed through political consensus after the transition to democracy and was mandated by its membership to represent them and unite the nursing profession. Prior to this, the South African Nursing Council (SANC) and the South African Nurses Association (SANA) were statutory bodies which all nurses had to join. It was also important after the transition to democracy to incorp... Read more