Gauteng EMS workers outside Luthuli House. Picture: Khanyisile Ngcobo.

Johannesburg - Fed-up Gauteng Emergency Medical Services members threatened to embark on an illegal strike if the ANC did not respond to their labour-related issues.  

The workers on Thursday marched to the ANC's headquarters, Luthuli House, to demand the party's intervention in their ongoing issues with the Gauteng Department of Health. 

Among these issues are working hours, which workers claim are currently 192 hours per month, instead of the agreed upon 160 hours, with no overtime pay. 

They also took issue with the dismissal of their colleagues for challenging this unfair practice. 

The marching workers are demanding the reinstatement of their dismissed colleagues. 

Speaking at the handing over of the memorandum was paramedic Shadrack Bobi, who explained that they decided to march to the ANC's headquarters because they've exhausted all other options. 

"We went to the MEC's [of Health] office, but we never received a positive response from the government."

An official from Luthuli House receives the memo from marching EMS workers. Video: Khanyisile Ngcobo.


"We also went to Premier David Makhura's office but nothing happened as well. So now we want the ANC to intervene."

Bobi also spoke on some of the issues they had with their working conditions, saying they were expected to work the excessive hours but were not remunerated for this. 

He lamented the lack of response from the department, saying it had left them with very few options. 

Sifiso Dlamini hands over a memorandum to an official from Luthuli House. Picture: Khanyisile Ngcobo.


Handing over the memorandum on behalf of the marchers was Sifiso Dlamini, who had some harsh words for the ruling party. 

"Our unions are saying we're misplaced bringing our labour issues to the ANC. We're not misplaced, we came here because we have a problem with a government that is run by the ANC."

"If you treat this matter the way they've [the department] treated us, you'll be sending a message that you don't deserve our votes and you'll leave us with no choice but to go on an illegal strike," he said. 

Dlamini also slammed Gauteng government operations director Kgati Malebana, who he claimed dismissed their demands and refused to implement policies. 

A Luthuli House official was on hand to receive the memo, on behalf of Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe, and assured the marchers that their issues would be attended to.