The KwaZulu-Natal Health Department received more than 300 000 applications for Dr Pixley ka Isaka Seme Memorial Hospital, where about 1 500 people can be hired. Picture: NQOBILE MBONAMBI African News Agency (ANA)
The KwaZulu-Natal Health Department received more than 300 000 applications for Dr Pixley ka Isaka Seme Memorial Hospital, where about 1 500 people can be hired. Picture: NQOBILE MBONAMBI African News Agency (ANA)

Over 300 000 applications for roughly 1 500 posts

By Thobeka Ngema Time of article published Apr 12, 2021

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DURBAN - MORE than 300 000 applications were received for 1 500 positions at Dr Pixley Ka-Isaka Seme Memorial Hospital in KwaMashu.

The figures were revealed by Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane at the weekend, when she provided an update on the recruitment process at the hospital.

The first batch of posts for the hospital were advertised at the end of 2020.

Last month, thousands of hopefuls descended on the hospital, in hopes of doing well in the written assessment and being one step closer to being hired.

However, mayhem ensued, which resulted in a stampede that left several applicants injured.

According to the department, they had only called 250 professional nurses to attend the assessment.

In response, nurses that had attended the assessment on March 23 accused Simelane of lying about only inviting 250 applicants. They also claimed that the department was not ready for them, as only two tents were erected at 9am, anyone was let in, identity documents and SMSes were not checked, nurses were only given 20 minutes to complete the assessment instead of the allocated 45 minutes, and some nurses allegedly cheated by sharing and discussing the assessment paper.

As a result, the nurses felt it was an unfair process and appealed for a reassessment.

Simelane said at the end of 2020 that they would be hiring management and, when it was done, they would move to hire professional nurses.

The MEC changed her statement on only inviting 250 applicants.

“We had planned that there will be 250 people in the morning and another 250 in the afternoon, meaning 1pm,” said Simelane.

She said, when people arrived, it was all at once – including those who were not invited. As a result, people were pushing, were no longer listening and did not want to wait their turn.

“But we were able to complete the process that day. Those who were called were interviewed in the form of an assessment. After the assessment, there will be follow up interviews.”

Simelane said although they assessed about 1 000 people, they only have about 130 posts.

She added that last week they interviewed enrolled nurses and enrolled nursing assistants.

Moving forward, they will start with security guards, she said.

“At Pixley, we will be doing in-sourcing, which means we hire everyone – security, cleaners, cooks – everyone will be interviewed. A lot of people applied, especially cleaners. We received more than 300 000 applications. It tells you how poor our people are, but we don’t have enough posts. The posts we have for everyone, including chief executives, are a little over 1 500.”

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