Independent Online

Monday, August 15, 2022

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by locationView market indicators

Community healthcare workers want their jobs back

Community healthcare workers are demanding to be reinstated to their jobs by a company contracted by the Department of Health. Picture: File

Community healthcare workers are demanding to be reinstated to their jobs by a company contracted by the Department of Health. Picture: File

Published Jul 1, 2022

Share

Pretoria - Community healthcare workers who have been waiting to return to work since 2016 have vowed to camp outside the Department of Health’s district offices in Pretoria until they are given an exact date to resume duties.

In attendance are a handful of community health-care workers from across Gauteng. They are demanding to be reinstated to their jobs by a company contracted by the Department of Health.

Story continues below Advertisement

Getrude Sebopa, a community health-care worker from Soshanguve, said their issues began in 2016 after the department took on the SmartPurse Solutions contractor to take over the management of community healthcare workers in the province.

She alleged that on taking over, the company instituted unfair labour practices such as denying pregnant workers family responsibility leave or time off to recuperate after giving birth.

She said despite workers’ attempts to alert the department, things took a turn for the worse and the matter ended up with the CCMA, which awarded workers an arbitration certificate instructing the company to reinstate all 9 100 workers.

The workers alleged the company had only partially fulfilled the instructions as 126 health-care workers had been left out with no resumption date.

“We’ve battled to be given our jobs back from as far back as when Dr Aaron Motsoaledi was minister of health. They agreed to take us back in bits and pieces, but we have been waiting from 2016 for 126 of us to be taken back.”

The workers, from Mamelodi, Atteridgeville, Soshanguve, Hammanskraal, Ekurhuleni, Ekangala and Johannesburg, claim they had enough of being left out in the cold.

Story continues below Advertisement

“All they keep telling us is they will take us back when people die or retire, but why should we wait when the job was ours before everything changed?

“We started as volunteers earning nothing, and as soon as there is a stipend of R2 500 we were supposed to be absorbed. They are giving us the run around on the remaining posts.”

The workers said they suspected their jobs had been sold and or given to friends and relatives of persons working with the company.

Story continues below Advertisement

Due to the alleged run-around by the department and the company as to when they would be given back their jobs, they said they would as of yesterday be camping at the department’s district offices in the city centre until someone gave them an exact date.

The company and the department had yet to comment by late yesterday.

Pretoria News

Story continues below Advertisement

Share