Union calls for better security at City of Cape Town’s health facilities
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Cape Town - The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) has called for improved security services on City health facilities following a series of robberies, burglaries and vandalism which has crippled the provision of health services.
The latest incident occurred on Thursday where armed robbers stormed the Crossroads 1 clinic and made off with clinic keys and the staff person belongings, while the Khayelitsha Environmental Health Office in Harare was temporarily closed after burglars stole computers, a microwave, two televisions, a laptop and PPE on May 2.
The Weltevreden Valley Clinic in Samora Machel remains closed after staff were robbed at gunpoint more than a month ago, while patients have been robbed at gunpoint outside the Mzamomhle clinic in Brown’s Farm on numerous occasions.
Denosa metropole regional chairperson Siyabonga Mbonane said these robberies continued to be a sore point for all nurses in the Metropole regions as the government was failing to honour the last leg of resolution 1 of 2018.
“Nurses fail to report for duty due to these robberies occurring while commuting to work because all their belongings are taken and even if they make it to the workplace, they are dodging bullets while performing their duties of a noble profession.
“Nurses have been reported to have panic buttons but at times these are not functioning properly. Nurses are not feeling safe at all, especially in areas known as high risk where there is still poor law enforcement visibility. They say that crime is so dominant, one clinic was robbed twice in past two weeks,” he said.
Mbonane said security personnel at these facilities were not effective enough as they only had a baton stick with no tactical defence skills, while thugs were armed with live ammunition.
“We pray that those who were faced with such trauma have been given necessary emotional support and personal belongings replaced,” he said.
Mayoral member for community services and health, Zahid Badroodein, said there were more incidents of threats of violence towards staff and patients, attempted robberies and burglaries, and the wanton destruction and vandalism of property.
“Our staff are serving our communities tirelessly and with dedication. It is also our communities who suffer. Yet, the perpetrators who attack and terrorise our staff come from those communities. Residents who know who these criminals are need to speak up and speak out.
Harare community Policing Forum chairperson Funeka Soldaat said these robberies were cruel to the communities as these thugs were stealing for drugs and alcohol. She said these were depriving law-abiding community members of basic services and were inconveniencing some who were now forced to walk distances to other facilities.
“The sad part is the community that buys these stolen goods which further exacerbates the whole problem. Law enforcement agencies should work together and not in competition to fight crime in the society,” she said.