COSATU congratulates its Affiliate, SAEPU, on its successful National Congress

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) congratulates its tireless Affiliate, the South African Emergency Personnel Union (SAEPU), on its successful National Congress that took place in Jane Furse, Limpopo last week.

SAEPU represents thousands of paramedics and other emergency personnel across South Africa.  We are proud of the relentless efforts it has undertaken to improve the working and living conditions of these critical frontline health workers.

Paramedics and other essential emergency personnel are the first responders on the scene when our lives are at risk.  They work long hours for little pay under exceedingly difficult conditions.  We owe these workers our eternal gratitude. 

We are pained by the horrific attacks, many premeditated, that have been unleashed against these emergency personnel.  These have seen many of these workers called out under false pretences, robbed and assaulted.  Communities have paid the price when emergency personnel have been forced to wait for police escorts in certain crime ridden locations.  More must be done by communities and law enforcement to secure the safety of these essential personnel and thus allow them to do their work in providing emergency medical care to patients.

COSATU will continue to work with SAEPU and our other Affiliates organising health personnel, in particular the National Health and Allied Workers’ Union, the Democratic Nurses Organisation of South Africa and the South African Medical Association – Trade Union, to affirm the rights of our health workers, improve their working and living conditions, and ensure all South Africans have access to healthcare.

We are confident that SAEPU under its elected leadership collective led by its President, Mpho Mpogeng, and General Secretary, Mhlauli Ntsapho, will continue to grow and lead the struggles of emergency personnel.

Issued by COSATU 

For further information please contact:
Matthew Parks
Acting National Spokesperson & Parliamentary Coordinator 
Cell: 082 785 0687