The march by five trade unions organizing in the Gauteng Health Department held a march to the Premier’s office as well as the Department of Health to demand payment of workers performance bonuses that date back to 2016/17 financial years.
More than 6000 workers belonging to DENOSA, NEHAWU, PSA, HOSPERSA and NUPSAW, took to the streets of Johannesburg in a march that began at the Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown on 16 March. Led by COSATU and provincial leaders of trade unions, the march called for the Premier to intervene before the situation turns sour as workers were running out of patients.
Both DENOSA and NEHAWU provincial chairpersons, Simphiwe Gada and Lulamile Sibanda, stressed that the money for payment of workers is ring-fenced, and that excuses that it has been used in other needs other than compensation of workers did not hold water.
“Where is PMDS money?” asked Gada. “We will tell you where it went to.” Gada cited the employment of multiple security personnel services from different security companies within the provincial head office as one of the reasons. “On the first floor, you are met by a different security company manning the gates within the same building. On the 23rd floor, a different security company has been outsourced to provide security to the one on the ground floor.”
“That is wasteful expenditure,” he said.
Sibanda called for insourcing of all outsourced security services within the Department. Sibanda added that the Department of Health has proven to be the most reckless, abusive employer compared to other departments, leading with dismissals and non-payment of workers.
Both Premier and Health MEC were not available to accept the memorandums, and they delegated directors from their two departments.
The march gave both offices seven working days.