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Young nurses trade union pickets on International Nurses Day, demanding colleges be reopen

Published May 12, 2022


Rustenburg - The Young Nurse Indaba Trade Union boycotted the International Nurses Day celebration on Thursday and, instead, they marched through the streets of Pretoria to the Nursing Council of South Africa.

Dressed in black union T-shirts, the young nurses sang as they marched in Pretoria, waving placards with messages highlighting their problems.

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One placard read: “Nurses have rights too” while another stated that “435 nurses have kept the nation alive”.

“ANC perpetuates nurses abuse,” read another placard.

“We are boycotting celebrating nurses day, because we believe there is nothing to celebrate. Instead, we are going to occupy the street of Pretoria and go to the regulatory body, the South African Nursing Council, and urge them to fast track the total transition of nursing education and training, into the council of higher education and training, and a total focus on the practice of nursing,” said general secretary Lerato Mthunzi.

“We are saying, as nurses, we are tired of being part of the massacre going on in hospitals ... We want an improved health care system for the community we serve,“ she said.

The union also called for nursing colleges that were shut down to be reopened and accredited, so that the country could produce more nursing professionals.

International Nurses Day is an annual global celebration, on May 12, that acknowledges and celebrates the commitment and bravery of nursing professionals, who form part the backbone of our health system.

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The day also marks the anniversary of the founder of modern day nursing, Florence Nightingale's birthday.

North West Health MEC Madoda Sambatha said the province was also celebrating the contribution of nurses in strengthening the delivery of nursing services.

“We are also commemorating the responsibility of nurses in ensuring that this Covid-19 response of the country is strengthened in ensuring that front line workers, which are nurses, are always respected and are recognised for the work they are doing,” he said.

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