Cape Town – Hundreds of health professionals belonging to the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) gathered in Cape Town to hand over a list of demands to Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan just hours before he delivers his Budget speech in Parliament.
The march was part of the union's national protest which were taking place in the province, Gauteng, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu Natal and the Northern Cape.
Songs and chants filled the open parking lot in Keizersgracht where the union members gathered at around 10am. The men and women in red union regalia then made their way to Parliament where they were met by a heavy police presence monitoring the area.
National spokesman Khaya Xaba said the purpose of the national march was to highlight financial struggles faced by health professional in the sector.
“We are marching to treasury to protest against austerity measures, social security and the freezing of vacant posts in the health department. We want the finance minister to hear our people's burdens and to act,” he said.
The memorandum read: “Enough is enough, thus we demand the imposition of wealth tax. Demand for a higher minimum wage hence the budget speech must set aside budget on the wage bill which must be above CPI and an increase which must be above the CPI and considering for an increase beyond CPI.”
The memorandum will be handed over by the union’s treasurer Kgomotso Makhuphola.