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DENOSA KZN analysis of an agreement on prioritizing the promotion of qualifying nurses, a year later 

Media statement 

Tuesday, 15 October 2019 

As the year has passed since the agreement at the provincial bargaining chamber on giving priority to promoting nurses who have gone through a bridging course to become professional nurses before advertising posts, the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) in KwaZulu-Natal has been monitoring the implementation of this agreement and has noted that only 50% of the agreement was implemented whereas two more challenges still remain. 

On 11 October 2018, the agreement with the Department of Health in KwaZulu-Natal was that the then 1200 nurses who had completed their qualification as professional nurses from being enrolled nurses would be employed as professional nurses whenever vacancies in their institutions arose and that any advertisement of such vacant posts would be retracted to give priority to qualifying nurses internally.

As of 11 October 2019, DENOSA has observed that 600 nurses were translated into professional nurse positions in line with the agreement. However, the number of qualifying nurses who are due for translation has since increased to 700 currently as more nurses have since completed their studies to become professional nurses too. 

Furthermore, DENOSA has noted with great disappointment that the agreement to prioritize the absorption of the qualifying nurses to become professional nurses as soon as positions become available has not been respected and implemented by institutions in the province as they continue to advertise positions despite the presence of this agreement. 

Another challenge that DENOSA noted is the moratorium on the appointment of the 600 vacant positions of enrolled nurses that were created by the promotion of the nurses who had completed their studies to become professional nurses. “This, in essence, has brought us back to exactly where we were in 2018,” says DENOSA KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Chairperson, Mandla Shabangu.

“The fact that these vacancies were never filled makes no difference because the staff numbers remain the same except for improvement of skills for those who went to school. This does not mean, however, that these nurses who went to school increased their manpower, because there were still shortage of nurses even at the professional nurse level when they went to school. It is equally important that both vacancies of enrolled nurses as well as those of professional nurses are filled,” adds Shabangu. 

DENOSA calls for the lifting of this moratorium of the employment of nurses, because it is compromising the quality of healthcare services that communities receive. We hope the new HOD in the province will see the essence of hiring every necessary staff member in healthcare facilities of the province. 


Issued by DENOSA in KwaZulu-Natal 

For more information, contact:

Mandla Shabangu, DENOSA KZN Provincial Secretary 

Mobile: 071 643 3369