DENOSA Gauteng calls on all nurses to join the DENOSA and NEHAWU national march in honour of the nurse who di...


Press release for immediate circulation


17 February 2017

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) in Gauteng calls on all nurses in the province to join the DENOSA and NEHAWU national march on the 22nd of February 2017 in Pretoria in honour of the nurse who died this year after collapsing at SANC because of the poor services offered there.  

We also call on all the nurses to join the march in honour of all the nurses who died in the line of duty: the nurse murdered in Limpopo by a patient, the nurses attacked by the community in Tembisa and all health facilities in the country.

DENOSA and NEHAWU will be marching to National Department of Health, South African Nursing Council (SANC), Treasury and Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA).

We call on all nurses who are tired of poor and unsafe working conditions to join the DENOSA national march to put an end to these challenges. It is in the interest of all nurses to come out in unity and demonstrate to the government that we are not happy with the status quo.  

We also call on South Africans who are tired of poor health care and long queues in public health facilities to join the DENOSA national march to address these issues because it is DENOSA’s interest to see public facilities improve the quality of health care provided to South Africans. DENOSA stands opposed to poor health care and long queues in health facilities.

DENOSA Gauteng has postponed its provincial march to Gauteng Department of Health and Government Employees Medical Scheme (GEMS) in favour of the national march on the 22nd February 2017 in Pretoria and we call on all our structures to mobilise and rally behind this march.

DENOSA says NO to long queues in health facilities.


DENOSA says NO to poor health care services.


DENOSA says No to bad working Conditions.


DENOSA calls on Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, to implement consistently the nursing strategy by reviewing the benefits and compensation of nurses i.e. Occupation-Specific Dispensation (OSD) for nurses.



Issued by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA)


For more information contact:


Simphiwe Gada, DENOSA Gauteng Provincial Chairperson


Mobile: 079 501 4869




Facebook: DENOSA National Page 


Read more
DENOSA to lead nurses to a march to South African Nursing Council and National Department of Health offices in...

Media statement  

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) will lead nurses from all over South Africa to the national march to the South African Nursing Council (SANC)’s only office as well as to the National Department of Health’s Head Office in Pretoria on Wednesday 22 February 2017 from 09h00 to 16h00 to demand better working conditions for nurses in the country’s health facilities and opening of provincial SANC offices by the Council among many others.

The march, which will see more than 5000 nurses, will gather at Old Putco Depot in Marabastad in Pretoria, and move to the National Department of Health offices via Struuben Street before moving to SANC offices via Madiba Street.

In great part, the march will also give a rare opportunity to some nurses who could not afford to come to SANC to pay their restoration fees. But we are disappointed to learn that SANC has decided to close offices for operation on the day whereas the National Department of Health offices will operate as normal. This goes to show further that SANC is slowly found wanting and lacks both administrative and political will when it comes to giving attention to the needs of nurses of South Africa. This march is protected, and as such for it to be orderly is non-negotiable. We see no reason for the closure of their offices other than the continuing inconveniencing of nurses. Unless the Council does not trust its own nurses.  

SANC must ask other provincial Health Departments where DENOSA had marched to, and check if there were ever damage to property during our marches in those departments. DENOSA members are disciplined cadres who can’t embark on any march without ensuring safety thereof, and without maximum provocation for embarking on such action.    

Key among the demands to the National Department of Health are the following:

  • Speedy implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI); 

  • Addressing the severe shortage of nurses and non-absorption of community service nurses at the time when there are high vacancy rates in facilities;

  • Payment of nurses and suppliers;

  • Continuous professional development opportunities for nurses in facilities as a result gross shortages of nurses;

  • The need for the Department to accept that nurses in its casualty, clinics, CHCs and MDR-TB sections should get Danger Allowance;

  • The need for the Department to accept that all categories of nurses who work in areas classified as rural areas to get Rural Allowance;

  • The appointment of Chief Nursing Officers in provinces;

  • Structural adjustment in the Department where the role of Chief Nursing Officer in the country reports directly to the Director-General;

  • Supply of basic tools of trade in facilities; and

  • Safety of health workers and patients as a result of poor and outsourced security;

Key among the demands to the South Africa Nursing Council (SANC) are the following:

  • Decentralisation of SANC (Opening of provincial offices urgently); 

  • Opening of the registration period for payment of annual fees throughout the year, and not only from July to December of each year;

  • Proper consultation by SANC to employers and other stakeholders to make use of the online system at SANC to check if nurses have paid their annual practice licence;

  • Flexibility of SANC and opening to engagements and not always too defensive even to stakeholders; 

  • To allow nurses who work for government (who form majority nursing workforce in SA) to choose months that SANC can deduct annual fees, so that nurses don’t have to come to Pretoria; and     

  • Transparency on how the fees are increased and utilized by SANC.       

Members of the media are cordially invited to attend the march and report. For more information and to RSVP, contact Sibongiseni Delihlazo, DENOSA Communications Manager, on 079 875 2663 or email

Time is now!!! Siyaya e Pitoli!!!


Issued by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA)

For more information, contact:

Sibongiseni Delihlazo, DENOSA Communications Manager

Mobile: 079 875 2663

Tel: 012 343 2315




Facebook: DENOSA National Page 


Read more
DENOSA reiterates that a nurse collapsed at SANC offices and died on arrival in hospital on 26 January 2017...


Media statement 


Wednesday, 08 February 2017 



The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) reiterates what it has been saying to the media that a nurse collapsed at the South African Nursing Council (SANC) offices in Pretoria on 26 January while on a queue to pay for her annual practicing licence, and that she died on arrival in hospital. 




In the radio interview that DENOSA General Secretary, Oscar Phaka, had on 1 February at 05h41, he made it clear that a nurse collapsed at SANC offices while on the queue, and died on arrival in hospital. In the radio interview that DENOSA General Secretary did with SAFM on 1 February at 20h44, he made it clear that a nurse collapsed at SANC offices while on the queue, and died on arrival in hospital. DENOSA spokesperson, Sibongiseni Delihlazo, made it clear in his interview on 702 on 1 February at 12h51 that a nurse collapsed at SANC and died on arrival in hospital. He also said the same during the Power FM interview on 31 January 2017 at 15h15. 




DENOSA puts it categorically clear that its spokesperson, Sibongiseni Delihlazo, speaks on behalf of the organisation and therefore is mandated by the organisation to say whatever he says to the media. DENOSA takes great exception for the Council to single him out in its complain about what the organisation says instead of directing it to DENOSA as an organisation.    




DENOSA reiterates that SANC must open offices in provinces urgently, so that nurses don’t have to travel from KZN to SANC’s only offices in Pretoria to pay for their practicing licences if they are to get their licences instantly and not wait for months before their licences are posted to them when they pay via a bank. 




DENOSA will lead a national march of nurses on 22 February to SANC offices to demand, among many others, that:


  • Provincial offices be opened by SANC; 

  • Annual fee registration payment period for the following year be opened throughout the year and not only between July and December of each year;




DENOSA reiterates that its recent meeting requests in a form of letters with SANC to discuss pressing nursing issues have fell on deaf ears, and that is why we are resorting to a march on 22 February 2017.  DENOSA owes SANC no apology. DENOSA owes SANC no evidence, and they are at liberty to exercise their legal right.   




DENOSA cordially invites all members of the media to attend the national march on 22 February and report. The march will commence at 09h00 until 16h00.      






Issued by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA)


For more information, contact:


Oscar Phaka, DENOSA General Secretary


Mobile: 082 328 9771 




Sibongiseni Delihlazo, DENOSA Communications Manager


Mobile: 079 875 2663  





Facebook: DENOSA National Page 

Read more
View More

Trauma Nursing Matters...

Evidence based practice: Is cricoid pressure effective in preventing gastric aspiration during rapid sequence intubation in the emergency department?

By Ntombifuthi Jennet Ngiba (BN) (UKZN).

There is on-going change within trauma nursing due to increased research in the area. Practices have been routinely adopted as the norm, but subsequently on further examination proven to be useless and more of a risk to the patient (Moore & Lexington, 2012). Research has brought into question practices or techniques such as the application of cricoid pressure during rapid sequence tracheal intubation. This practise was goaled at preventing the regurgitation of gastric content into the pharynx and subsequent aspiration into the pulmonary tree, but now questioned.

Cricoid pressure was briefly defined by Sellick in 1961 as a method used to reduce the risk of aspiration during the induction phase of anaesthesia. Sellick`s technique was to apply backwards pressure to the cricoid cartilage, compressing the oesophagus against the underlying vertebral body (Ellis, Harris & Zideman 2007; Priebe 2005). In this application of pressure the oesophageal lumen is occluded, preventing the passage of regurgitated gastric content into the pharynx and subsequent aspiration into the pulmonary tree (Stewart et al, 2014). Cricoid pressure is incorporated into the overall approach in reducing the chances of aspiration through rapid sequence induction of anaesthesia (Ellis et al., 2007; Priebe 2005). Over the years rapid sequence induction has been adapted by emergency physicians to allow ventilation as required to prevent hypoxia and subsequently termed “rapid sequence tracheal intubation”. Rapid sequence tracheal intubation (RSTI) is now the most widely used technique for tracheal intubation in the emergency department (ED) and cricoid pressure is taught as a standard component of emergency airway management (Ellis et al., 2007).

Despite inadequate scientific evaluation of the risks and benefits of cricoid pressure it is adopted as an integral component of rapid sequence intubation in EDs. No randomised controlled trials have shown any benefit of its use during rapid sequence intubation (Trethewy, Burrows, Clausen & Doherty, 2012). Furthermore, the application of cricoid pressure may be linked to increased risks to the patient such as  impeding airway management, prolonging intubation time by concealing laryngeal view, inducing nausea/vomiting and oesophageal rupture with excessive force (Ellis et al., 2007; Priebe 2005;Trethewy, et al, 2012). Paradoxically, cricoid pressure may promote aspiration by relaxing the lower part of the oesophagus (Ellis et al., 2007). Some case reports note that tracheal intubation was impeded by cricoid pressure and regurgitation occurred despite application of cricoid pressure, possibly due to its improper application (Trethewy, et al, 2012). According to Bhatia, Bhagat and Sen (2014) the application of cricoid pressure increases the incidence of lateral displacement of the oesophagus from 53% to 91%.

However despite this evidence and the outcome of Trethwy’s (2012) RCT the judicial system appears guided in its judgement by outdated practises. A judge in UK ruled against an anaesthesiologist for failing to apply cricoid pressure to a patient with irreducible hernia who had regurgitated and aspirated. The judge argued that “We cannot assert that cricoid pressure is not effective until trials have been performed, especially as it is an integral part of anaesthetic technique that has been associated with a reduced maternal death rate from aspiration since the 1960's” (Bhatia et al. 2014). Therefore one may say that despite cricoid pressure entering medical practice on limited evidence and only supported by common sense, it somehow remains the practice of choice (Bhatia et al., 2014).

Thus it is about time nurses and doctors embrace evidence-based practice within the emergency department and let go of traditional practice that are proven to do more harm than good. There is still a great need for further evidence-based practice within the emergency department, to investigate the validity of the notion that cricoid pressure prevents regurgitation.

Ntombifuthi Jennet Ngiba is a Professional Nurse at Greytown Hospital.


Bhatia N, Bhagat H & Sen I. (2014). Cricoid pressure: Where do we stand? J Anaesthesiol Clin Pharmacol, Vol 30 pp 3 – 6.

Ellis D.Y, Harris T & Zideman D. (2007). Cricoid pressure in the emergency department rapid sequence tracheal intubations: a risk-benefit analysis. American College of emergency physicians.Vol 50, pp 653 – 665. 

Moore K & Lexington K.Y (2012). Evidence-based practise guidelines for trauma care. Journal of emergency nursing. Vol 38, pp 401-402.

Priebe H.J, (2005). Cricoid pressure: an alternative view. Elsevier. Germany.

Stewart J.C, Bhananker S, & Ramaiah R. (2014). Rapid-sequence intubation and cricoid pressure. J Crit Illn Inj Sci, Vol 4, pp 42 - 49.

Trethewy C.E, Burrows J.M, Clausen D & Doherty S.R. (2012). Effectiveness of cricoid pressure in preventing gastric aspiration during rapid sequence intubation in the emergency department: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. BioMedCentral. Australia. Retrieved 04 August 2016:


Read more

National changes in nursing training: South African perspectives 2015...

Dr. Respect Mondli Miya,(D.Lit et Phil)

Senior Lecturer: Psychiatry at Durban University of Technology, Department of Nursing Science


Nursing is a career of love rooted in rich and fertile soil governed by caring ideologies and philosophies. Individuals within the profession have strong and inexplicable desires to serve and preserve humanity at all cost. The nursing profession drives the health care system and is forever in the forefront of preventing, promoting and management of various diseases.  Nurses have always been there and have survived trials and tribulations. Nursing demands not only the brain for cognitive purposes but a humble heart, selflessness in daily duty execution. An individual without passion for the sick will never survive a minute of nursing’s demanding tasks.

Nursing novices are professionally socialized and groomed on their first day of training. Noble traditions of nursing are gradually unpacked and monitored up to graduation to enhance relevance and dignity of nursing profession. Nursing demands the utmost respect for humanity even after death itself. Most professions have minimum set of working hours yet nursing philosophy calls and promotes dedication beyond duty. Nursing is a way of living not just mere qualification written on papers but lived and experienced charisma. 

Historically, nursing was viewed as a religious vocation and was predominantly religious in nature which explains chapels, and meditation designated facilities utilized for prayers before commencing daily duties in old hospitals. Nursing training in South Africa before 1976 was hospital-based hence the notion of viewing nursing as a “hands-on” career has been accepted nationally and acknowledged by most prolific nursing scholars who remain sceptical to have nursing pitched at a degree level and offered in higher training of education in South Africa.   

Such training exposed and subjected nurses to poor recognition as a career.  Nurses were abused and viewed as medical officers’ hand maids who were good for nothing but to offer a bed pan, bathing the sick, and carry orders as prescribed without being objective. The training at that time was strict and limiting, even the scope of practice was limited and nobody could imagine a degree in nursing or university based nursing teaching and learning. Hospitals mostly trained nurses in general nursing and later midwifery.

Around 1987, nursing in South Africa was gradually introduced in tertiary education system and scope of practice and curriculum were amended. Nursing graduates were introduced to a 4-year degree obtaining general, psychiatry, midwifery and community health nursing. That made older nurses to feel bitter and never fully accepted university graduates as satisfactorily trained. Even medical officers were threatened and witness role change from nurses as hand maids into fully recognized members of the multidisciplinary health team with independent roles and functionality. These changes failed to bridge the gap of scope of practice and remuneration packages. Even to this date, the university and hospital trained nurses earn the same salary and follow same stream of training regulated by the same nursing Act 50 of 1978 as amended with specification stipulated in Regulation 425 (R.425).

The nursing act 33 of 2005 introduced community service of one year post- training for both hospital- and university-trained individuals. Errors still exist within the nursing education such as same recognition of a hospital and university trained graduate have similar scope of practice, universities are allowed to implement R425 differently. For example, some South African universities train students for six months in midwifery while others dedicate two full years for midwifery and three years for community health nursing which is offered for six months in colleges and some universities. The problem in South Africa is that there is one R.425 and implemented differently from one university to the other.

The current health ministry is proposing nursing training restructurization. In the proposal dated 23 July 2015, it recommends reintroduction of the old nursing training system with a hope of extending the nursing training duration and to phase out the R.425 of Act 50 (1978). The current proposal overlooks scope of practice and remuneration packages of such graduates irrespective of their qualification which is an error not even Occupational Specific Dispensation (OSD) could resolve in 2007. OSD failed to address issues of salaries in the nursing fraternity; an obvious error is that a nursing lecturer is graded as a nursing specialist.

The unresolved question here is: Who teaches the other? And why do they earn same salary if the other is a teacher? Up to the very same date, the public health system continues to fail to distinguish university graduates from hospital nursing graduates yet continues to differentiate auxiliary social worker from a University graduate Social Worker, and experienced Medical Officer from a Master of Medicine graduate. Why not with nursing in South Africa? 

The proposed training changes are as follows: general nursing and midwifery be done in a college over a period of four years without indicating whether that shall be Bachelor of nursing offered in a college which can never materialize as colleges do not offer degrees but universities do. If agreed upon, this will mean degrading the dignity of nursing as a profession over medicine which continues to be offered in the university without interruptions.

According to the proposed plan, nursing training is extended to 9 years (four year of midwifery and general, 18 months of psychiatry and one year of community health) which is unnecessary waste of time for an undergraduate qualification yet medicines years of training have been reduced to 5 years (MBCHB).


There is absolutely no need for such drastic changes in the nursing education.  It is alarming to witness MBCHB years of training have been reduced to five years and get paid a satisfactory remuneration package compared to Bachelor of Nursing graduates with stagnant remuneration. The introduction of Masters Degree in Medicines in South Africa is preparing sound clinical researchers and such projects (thesis and dissertations) are evaluated by nursing professors who in turn receive less recognition and degrading salaries compared to MMed graduates.

The South African health system requires the following:

1.     Strong and vocal task team of nursing professors who shall preserve the image and dignity of nursing as a profession and strongly oppose plans to change nursing training.

2.     No college shall be allowed to offer a bachelor of nursing, strictly universities only.

3.     Salary packages to be reviewed and sort clear distinction of a university graduate over a hospital trained graduate.

4.     Revised scope of practice, degree holders be given more opportunity to execute complex clinical procedures and be given better remuneration packages.

5.     Chief Nursing Officer to be more vocal and avoid external influences to disorganise nursing training.

6.     Hospitals to create portfolios and acceptable remuneration packages for all nursing qualifications from a diploma to PHD level.

7.     All South African universities to adopt and implement similar training structure  that is two years of midwifery, two years of psychiatry and two years of community health nursing

8.     Develop a Nursing Ministry by nurses with nurses and for nurses.

9.     MBCHB degree be afforded same status as B.Cur degree thereafter if need be.

10.  South African nursing council to be headed by prolific PHD holders and nursing qualifications be regulated and registered up to PHD level.

11.  Any qualification obtained outside university be regarded as either associate professional nurse and associated medical office until related exam has been endorsed by the regulating body.

Read more


We are professionals, and let us fight to be recognised as such… 
Vuyolwethu Mashamayite - 20150728_073623
By Vuyolwethu Mashamaite 
Ever since I joined nursing in 2005 I have heard nurses say nursing is a ‘calling’ and it's not about money. I couldn't understand why they said so and I still don't.   
I believe that everyone is called by God to be in the profession or job they are doing, unless nurses consider themselves in the same umbrella as ‘Sangomas’ and ‘Preachers’. Those are the people who will leave their profession or jobs and focus on their calling or do both, regardless of whether they are paid or not. 
Perhaps this could be the reason why nurses are under-paid and left to work in extreme unfavourablecircumstances ...because it’s a "Calling".
Don't get me wrong; I have passion and great respect for human life as a nurse. But I cannot keep quiet. Nurses are the most abused professionals by the employer because they consider themselves "called" instead of being employed professionals.
Nurses you are jack of all trades doing everyone's jobs from a cleaner to a doctor but come pay day you are the ones who cry the most because you are underpaid while doing everyone's jobs. I guess it's the consequences of having been “called" instead of being professional.
We feel so comfortable working out of our scope of practice to an extent that we run a risk of performing tasks that we are not equipped to do. When told it's not your scope of practice you tell us of how long you've been doing this and you didn't kill anyone. But the South African Nursing Counci (SANC) is out there nailing nurses and not considering your "calling" but rather your profession and scope of practice.
What hurts the most is the fact that you studied for four years and someone from another discipline who studied the same years is treated and paid better than you. I guess they are professionals and you are in a "calling". 
Nurses, let's STOP hiding behind "CALLING" and start taking our profession seriously. If you don't do it, no one will do it for you. Like it or not we are professionals and let us fight to be recognised as such. 
Vuyolwethu is a nurse based in Kimberley, Northern Cape   

Read more
View More


Nursing Update

January 2017

Nursing Update is jointly published by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Afr... More.



Curationis provides a forum for cutting-edge theories and research models related to th... More

About us

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) in its current form was established on 5 December 1996.

The organisation was formed through political consensus after the transition to democracy and was mandated by its membership to represent them and unite the nursing profession. Prior to this, the South African Nursing Council (SANC) and the South African Nurses Association (SANA) were statutory bodies which all nurses had to join. It was also important after the transition to democracy to incorp... Read more