Media Statement: Nehawu strike update: KwaZulu-Natal health facilities return to normal functioning, following week-long interruptions

14 March 2023

The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health welcomes the return of normal operations at almost all healthcare facilities that were beset by interruptions during the week-long strike by Nehawu members last week.

Staff members who embarked on the illegal strike, including those who could not come to work due to blocked access to healthcare facilities, returned to work in full force today (Tuesday), with only a few challenges reported at facilities such as KwaDabeka Community Health Centre, which were since resolved.

KZN Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane has thanked all workers for adhering to a clarion call for them to return to their noble work of saving lives and healing the sick.

"We would like to extend our gratitude to all staff members who remained at work during this period despite the threats and intimidations. Their dedication does not go unnoticed."

"We also want to thank everyone who reported to work today at all our healthcare facilities that endured disturbances over the past few days. It is important for everyone to understand that as essential workers, we are expected to always be at the forefront of saving lives on a daily basis.

"We hope that what transpired last week will always be avoided at all cost as there are many avenues including the bargaining chamber, that are there to engage on any dissatisfaction or grievances that is labour related," MEC Simelane said.

The MEC has also called for patience from the public, as some delays may be experienced while workers and management work hard to make up for lost time, in a bid to bring the situation back to normal as soon as possible.

"We also want to apologize and thank members of the public and our clients who might have been affected in any way by the strikes. We have instructed management to work tirelessly to eradicate backlogs, especially in cases of elective surgery, and the completion of post-mortems, so that grieving families may bury their loved ones," the MEC said.

The Department remains vigilant in all parts of the Province for any developments that may interrupt operations at facility level.

Issued BY the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health

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This page last edited on 11 July, 2023

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