NEHAWU refutes the lies peddled by the North West Premier and his gang of three

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] refutes the lies peddled by North West Premier and his gang of three about the current state of the strike in the Department of Health.

In a press conference convened by the MEC of Education and Sport Development, Sello Lehari, who is also the leader of government business on Monday, a few utterances were made which are far from the truth and misleading both the public and our members. In this press conference the MEC in exclusion of the other members of the task team was also joined by the MEC for Rural Development and Agricultural Development and the MEC for Community Safety and Transport Management who are not part of the team appointed by the Premier intervene in the crisis confronting the Department of Health.

The statement presented at the press conference falsely claims that commendable progress has been registered. As the national union, we dismiss this as utter lies because in the last two weeks the provincial government has dismally failed to come forward with a new or substantive offer aimed at ending the current impasse as a result negotiations remain deadlocked due to the sheer arrogance of the provincial government.

The fact that the Team of MEC’s has resorted to lying about making progress in ending the impasse further proves that they are not serious about finding lasting solutions. Their lies have an adverse effect on our people who rely on public healthcare institutions for medical attention. It has now been proven beyond reasonable doubt that they do not care about the healthcare of our people. Lack of honesty and accountability is one of the reason the current crisis is in existence. The fact that members of the team appointed by the Premier continues to lie further proves that there is a little hope in undoing the crisis with them in charge.

In this regard, the union does not recognise this team as appointed by the Premier to deal with the current impasse as it is conflicted. Yesterday afternoon the leadership of the union met with the President of the Republic of South Africa and the Minister of Health accompanied by the Director General of the Department of Health in a quest to resolve the stalemate. At this meeting we were formally informed about the decision of the Cabinet to invoke Section 100(1) (b) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996 which is regarded as an intervention to resolve the crisis facing the health sector in the province. It was further explained how Section 100 works and how we can contribute to ensure its success. On the basis of the explanation, the national union concluded that there will be no reason or is not compelled to work or cooperate with the Premier’s team. On the contrary, we shall work with the Interministerial team appointed by the President and National Department of Health Team appointed by the Minister together with the Director General.

We remain committed in finding lasting solutions to the crisis in the province and convinced that only genuine intentions from the provincial government can end the strike by ensuring that the impasse is resolved in order to bring everything back to normality. Our people deserve quality healthcare and improved service delivery. NEHAWU members are more than committed to deliver quality healthcare services provided they are paid decent wage and their bonuses are paid on time and they work in decent working conditions.

On Monday May 7, 2018 the national union will convene a provincial shopstewards council in Mafikeng to make an assessment on the current strike action and map a way forward. A press conference will be convened on Tuesday May 8, 2018 thereafter to communicate the outcomes of the shopstewards council, in line with the National Executive Committee [NEC] decision to mobilize for a national day of action and a public servants two day stay away in the province. If no positive response comes forth, the national union will extend the action to all provinces across the country as a solidarity to North West NEHAWU members and workers in general.

Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat

Zola Saphetha (General Secretary) at 082 558 5968;
December Mavuso (Deputy General Secretary) at 082 558 5969;
Khaya Xaba (NEHAWU Media Liaison Officer) at 082 455 2500 or