Angry KZN community shuts down hospital for two months
Durban - A CRITICAL government health service has been closed for nearly two months after the community protested against the hiring of unknown people as general workers at Appelsbosch Hospital, north of Durban.
A nurse at the hospital said it was closed after the community protested against the hiring of porters and clerks who were not from the area.
The nurse, who did not want to be named, said there had been a similar incident last year.
“The porters and one clerk were hired because of Covid-19 and it was said that they were taken from the district database.”
She said as health-care workers, their unions, the Public Servants Association of SA (PSA) and the Health and Other Services Personnel Trade Union of SA (Hospersa), said they should not work as nurses and porters.
Hospersa KZN chairperson Thamsanqa Zondi said he hoped the matter could be resolved soon because a couple of weeks ago when the union met the Department of Health, they “failed to resolve the matter”.
Zondi said nine people had been employed and they were not from the area or any of the wards.
“Hospersa cannot allow workers to be porters as well.”
During meetings, Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu said about five people had been employed in 2018 and investigations revealed that the employees were from the area.
Simelane-Zulu said this year the department employed two people at the hospital and they were taken from the district database and they were also from the area.
“We have decided that we are going to engage with local leadership led by the mayor and the councillors. We will also speak to local traditional leaders,” said Simelane-Zulu.
She said if it reached a level where the community threatened to burn the hospital, close roads and restrict health-care workers from entering or leaving the hospital, they would be threatening the lives of the health workers.