DENOSA urges travellers to drive safely because there are few health workers ...

    Media statement

    Thursday, 15 December 2016

    As most citizens will be travelling to their holiday destinations from today, the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) would like to urge all those that will be on the road this festive season to drive safely, obey the rules of the road all the time and take some rest whenever necessary because there may be few nurses in facilities closer to where they will be travelling, in cases of accidents.

    This is because we have few health workers such as nurses in facilities that are outside the big cities, where most accidents often happen and during awkward hours. This scarcity of health workers, plus the severe shortage of resources such as ambulances in those facilities, play a major contributory factor in the deaths of many patients from their injuries. Statistics in SA have proven that many deaths in South Africa are as results of injuries.

    Many victims of accidents in South Africa die from accidents mainly because of excessive bleeding and late arrival of care, as many accidents often happen in remote areas and outside of the cities.

    The shortage of nurses in many facilities in the country is a message that we have been communicating throughout the years, and this year also compels us to do the same as there has been no improvement in the situation.

    DENOSA hopes this message will assist those that will be on the road to have this information beforehand, so that they think about it and drive carefully.

    This period tends to cause too much bottlenecking in our semi-rural and rural facilities, where you find that majority South Africans move to rural areas where only about 20 percent of the country’s health workers are.

    We wish great strength to nurses who will be on duty during this festive season, as we know they will do their best in saving lives as they have always done one under the trying circumstances.

    DENOSA would like to wish all South Africans, and health workers in particular, a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year!  


    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


    Twitter: @DENOSAORG

    Facebook: DENOSA National Page


    Read more
    DENOSA Student Movement media statement following its last meeting for the year ...


    Media statement  


    DENOSA Student Movement held its third and last two-day meeting for the year at DENOSA Head Office this past weekend. Robust debates ensued with the view of advancing the plight of students within the nursing profession and health in general. The discussions also reflected on the many student unrests all over the country that occurred in 2016.


    On Community Service for student nurses


    The Student Movement noted the online application system implemented by national Department of Health as a centralised application process for all community service nurses. We are closely monitoring the online application system and hoping that it will spell the end to our problems regarding community service.  We remain concerned with the fact that the employer is not willing to absorb post community service nurses. We will continue with campaigns against the exploitation of nurses.


    On Funding Model


    We have noted with concern the issue of funding model for student nurses in the country. It is a concern that even Gauteng Department of Health is intending to introduce the bursary system for 2017. We have given a diagnosis as to why the bursary system is not assisting student nurses. The diagnosis is that in all provinces that are using the bursary system as a funding model, there are strikes each year relating directly to the bursary system.


    We will continue to fight the employer in ensuring that the PERSAL system is implemented, which gives students monthly stipend to cover costs for transport to institutions where they do clinical practicals at. We will explore alternative options to combat a fight against the bursary system.


    On the Chief Nursing Officer


    DENOSA Student Movement has noted the lack of action from the office of the country’s Chief Nursing Officer. We are of a firm belief that she is failing the nursing profession. We continue to see many wrong things being implemented within the nursing fraternity which are detrimental to the profession and she continues to turn a blind eye on our issues. We are progressively losing confidence in her in executing her duties as Chief Nursing Officer. We want to appeal to her that she must turn things and start to work. Wecall for the Chief Nursing Officer office to be fully staffed, and that provinces also appoint their chief nursing officers so that there is better coordination of nursing matters between provinces and national through the office of the chief nursing officer.


    On Student Accommodation


    The meeting deliberated on the appalling and inhumane living conditions of student residences across the country. In some provinces we find that 5 to10 students are sharing one room, and some live in mobile containers with limited sanitation. There is poor maintenance and sanitation of students’ residence. We call on government to ensure that there is improvement in our place of stay.


    On Bogus Nursing Colleges


    We would like to inform the community on the emergence of colleges which offer programmes that are advertised as nursing programmes. We would like the public to check with the South African Nursing Council (SANC) on whether the colleges which they are intending to join are registered with SANC or not. People are masquerading as nurse tutors while they are in a business of making and robbing money off poor people. We would like to warn those who will be looking for colleges to study at next year to be extremely careful and ensure the institutions they registered with are accredited by SANC and that the programmes are also accredited.


    On 20 Year Celebrations


    We were celebrating 20 years of DENOSA’s existence on 5 December at the Union Buildings. The event was a success. As DENOSA Student Movement, we firmly believe that we are the future of DENOSA and shall ensure that the organisation gets to see another 20 years of existence. We are the first line of defence of DENOSA and will ensure that the organisation grows. We will do this by embarking on a massive recruitment campaign next year at nursing institutions throughout the country.


    On the passing of El Commandate Fidel Castro


    DENOSA Student Movement is saddened by the passing of cde Fidel Castro, who died on 25 November 2016. We believe that cde Fidel Castro has multiplied in us and his ideals will live forever. We can affirm that history will absolve him as he said “You can judge me but it’s not important; the history will justify me.’’ We are Fidel Castro and Fidel Castro is us.  


    On the passing of Sfiso Ncwane


    We are saddened by the loss of Sfiso Ncwane, which is a huge loss to the South African music industry and society as a whole. We would like to convey a message of support to the family of Sfiso Ncwane and his friends and fans.


    On Public Services International Young Workers of South Africa


    DENOSA Student Movement is pleased with the steady progress within PSI Young Workers of South Africa. We believe that the growth of PSI can only be attained through active participation of PSI affiliates. As DENOSA Student Movement, we will ensure that we will contribute positively to the growth of PSI Young Workers within borders of South Africa and beyond. The problems of Young Workers in our respective workplaces can only be resolved by Young Workers.




    Issued by the DENOSA National Student Movement


    For more information, contact:


    Tshepo Monoketsi, National Chairperson


    Mobile: 079 501 5808




    Nkululeko Mapaila, National Secretary


    Mobile: 071 624 6423



    Twitter: @DENOSAORG


    Facebook: DENOSA National Page


    Read more
    DENOSA Limpopo statement post- Provincial Executive Committee meeting ...


    Media statement


    Thursday, 8 December 2016

    The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) in Limpopo held its last meeting of the year at Polokwane Royal Hotel recently and resolved on a number health and nursing-specific challenges in the province.


    On closure of Modimolle MDR Hospital and suspension of DENOSA regional leader as a result


    The PEC noted with great concern the closure of Modimolle MDR Hospital and the subsequent suspension of DENOSA Waterberg Regional Secretary and other members for more than 60 days for raising safety issues in demanding provision of adequate protective masks that nurses wear at the facility.


    The closure resulted in the Department of Health transferring patients to other hospitals in Waterberg region and others discharged home prematurely. The PEC believes that employees have genuine demand to have protective masks that are used after all employees underwent a fitment test and passed. For those who failed the test an arrangement should be made for alternative masks to prevent cross-infection.  Department of Health ignored the call to have alternative masks for the employees who failed the test and they are told that the masks are used nationally as a result they must not question anything.


    A credible service provider was appointed to run re- fitness tests two months ago and to date the results are not yet disclosed .Bilateral engagements with the Waterberg District leadership and Department of health Waterberg District could not yield positive results. The employees were recently transferred to nearby hospitals. PEC is worried about the snail’s pace with which the Limpopo Department of Health is addressing the employee’s challenges.


    On non-replacement of nurses who retired, died or resigned


    PEC also noted with great concern that austerity measures make it difficult to appoint nurses in Limpopo province. Nurses who resigned, died, or retired were never replaced and this adds a burden to nurses who are already burnt out because of work overload as a result of gross shortage of nurses in hospitals and clinics in the province. 


    PEC raised alarm regarding SAMA’s challenges of overtime payment which is crippling service delivery in W.F Knobel Hospital where nurses find themselves without doctors after hours and patient care is dismally compromised. PEC resolved that POB’s engage the MEC for political intervention to address both Modimole MDR and WF Knobel challenges.


    On poor conditions of student residences


    The PEC noted the conditions under which students of Limpopo College of Nursing are subjected to in terms of poor residential areas which are inhabitable and inadequate security in the residence raises question on the student’s safety. PEC further committed itself to accelerate institutional visits to see the conditions under which nurses are staying. Attempts to meet the Director of Nursing Education could not yield positive results as she is arrogant and she believes student nurses should not be unionized and that she only recognizes SRC.


    PEC resolved that the MEC of Health must be engaged as a matter of urgency to address the above mentioned challenges.


    On DENOSA 20th anniversary


    DENOSA Limpopo is pleased with the success of the 20th anniversary celebrations of DENOSA, which were held on 5 December at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, where thousands of nurses from all corners of the country descended to join in the celebration of their organisation.


    Prior to this national celebration, the PEC joined the nurses on the 1st of December 2016 to celebrate DENOSA 20 years anniversary at Polokwane Royal hotel. DENOSA Limpopo celebrated 20 years with 350 nurses from all 5 Districts as a build-up to the National celebration. Message of support was received from COSATU represented by the Provincial Secretary Cde Gerald Twala who congratulated DENOSA for celebrating 20 years and still united. He wished DENOSA well in celebrating 20 years of unifying nurses as the only Organisation representing nurses.


    We also celebrated World Aids Day by lighting the candles. Nurses observed a moment of silence to remember all nurses who passed on, others in the line of duty.


    The Key note address was given by DENOSA General Secretary, Cde Oscar Phaka, who congratulated Limpopo nurses for making it to celebrate 20 years being united. He was displeased by the austerity measures and freezing of posts in Limpopo which increases vacancy rates and ultimately overburden the nurses. He was concerned that when nurses have burn out people mistaken it with bad attitude.


    He urged nurses to remain resilient and not let the nursing profession to die in our hands or go down under our watch. He also expressed unhappiness regarding the conditions under which the nurses are working. He requested nurses not to let patients die because of negligence, to support and love one another and not give DENOSA a bad name. He discouraged moonlighting as it causes fatigue and render nurses unproductive. He urged nurses to support NHI as it will not succeed without them.


    He urged men out there not to abuse women


    The celebration was under the theme ’Celebrating 20 years of unifying nurses”.  DENOSA was officially launched by the late former President, Nelson Mandela on 05/12/1996 at the Union Building in Pretoria. He stressed that as Government they have a lot of expectations from DENOSA and we dare not fail the Nation.


    Nurses who are in practice and the retired were given awards.  Margret Ntuli from Philadelphia hospital scooped 2 certificates, a laptop and R7500 prize money for Marilyn Lahana Caring award. Capricorn Region got position 1 in terms of membership and was awarded with a trophy. Trophies for leadership, long service, loyalty and recruitment were also awarded. Following the awards 20 years celebration cake was cut.


    On the death of El Commandante Fidel Castro


    PEC Observed a moment of silence following the passing of former President and leader of the Cuban revolution, El Commandate en Jefe Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz. PEC expressed immense gratitude for his selflessness and sacrifices during our liberation struggle as well as his continued support in the reconstruction and development of our country.


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


    For more information, contact:


    Khoza Sipho Cornwell, Limpopo DENOSA Provincial Secretary


    Mobile: 072 576 4979






    Read more
    View 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



    From Ntandane Nyebe, a nurse in Cape Town. 

    As the backbone of any healthcare system in the world, it is my honest opinion that nurses deserve proper compensation for the hard work they put in in improving the health of South Africans. After all, nurses are the proverbial Alpha and Omega. The following 10 points are the reasons.    

    1. We are short staffed- one person does a work that should have been done by 4 people.

    2. We have gone through formal education, we have got degrees etc, we are accountable to a nurses' board, we got to be paid decent salaries like Pharmacists and doctors- YES.

    3. The health institutions do not have enough of the unskilled workers e.g. porters and cleaners- Nurses are then forced to work as unkilled workers-on top of their scope of practice, when the need arises.

    4. There are many instances where doctors go & do shopping at the malls when they are on call, or simply some institutions have shortage of doctors- when an emergency situation arises- a nurse does a work that was supposed to be done by the doctor to save the client. Same case when there no social workers- nurses must run around doing what was supposed to be done by a social worker.

    5. We do a risky job - I've heard of many nurses & docs who died from contagious diseases- especially trauma staff.

    6. The governing party admitted in 2011 that there is a dire shortage of nurses in SA, which means nursing is a scarce skill in SA and the last time I checked professionals with scarce skills were getting paid higher salaries in SA.

    7. We work under bad conditions- institutions with no proper security, lack of proper equipment etc. But we always try and do our best to improvise for the benefit of the clients.

    8. Nurses who go & work overseas they don't go there just for fun or to experience different culture- they leave because they feel they are being overlooked by Government in terms of salary- meanwhile SA loses specialised nurses with experience - Government who cares about its people would try and keep nurses by raising salaries.

    9. We deserve better. Our Government can afford to increase our salaries by 100%. There is money in SA- we have seen structural developments in SA & they have been built by companies who have been paid millions and billions.

    10. ANC Government promised to increase salary of Nurses when they were in Mangaung in 2012/13. 

    I Thank You


    Read more
    View More


    Nursing Update

    January 2016

    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