Limpopo health workers’ protest called off as circulars put on hold
Pretoria – The contentious circulars over which health workers in Limpopo had threatened to down tools from today have been put on hold, for two weeks.
This after Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba met with labour unions to discuss the protest over Circulars 43 of 2020 and 4 of 2021, which dealt with shifts and overtime.
In the meeting, Ramathuba said the implementation of the two circulars would be put on hold for two weeks. “Organised labour is allowed a week to make inputs on the circulars, within the law, for consideration by management.” It would consider the issues on March 15 and 16, she added.
She said engagements would take place with management and labour on March 17 and 18 to clarify and consolidate the matters at hand.
It was the first time Ramathuba had spoken on the matter, after head of department Thokozani Mhlongo threatened that health workers would not get the sought-after jab against Covid-19, after the vaccine’s launch in Limpopo two weeks ago.
Ramathuba added: “The planned strike by the labour unions is suspended. Neither of the parties must talk to the media or communicate any other message than this statement through social media until the two-week process is finalised.”
The implementation of the circulars will resume after the engagements on March 22.
In a statement, Limpopo union secretary Jacob Adams said: “The meeting was a continuation of the a series of day meetings. It was agreed that both circulars (be) suspended for two weeks pending a meaningful consultation.”
Adams added the unions would be on standby to strike should the need arise.
On Sunday afternoon the unions were locked in a meeting to discuss the suspension of the circulars and to map a way forward.