DENOSA fully supports the proposed 20% tax on sugar-sweetened beverages as SA is the fattest in Sub-Saharan A...

Media statement

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Sugar-sweetened beverages have been swelling the country’s healthcare costs for too long  

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) fully supports the proposal by the Department of Health to levy impose a 20% tax on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) as more and more people are getting obese in the country, which gives birth to new non-communicable diseases cases and leads to more strain in public sector healthcare spending and decrease in quality healthcare due to increase in nurse-to-patient ratios in our facilities.  

This is in the backdrop of a new research paper conducted by the University of Witswatersrand which shows that more than half of the country’s adults are now overweight and obese, while 42% of women and 13% of men are obese, which occurs at the same time as the increase in sales of sugar-sweetened beverages.

While companies that manufacture these beverages maybe making huge profits and, of course, employing people, DENOSA strongly believes that business models of the companies should take into consideration the element of social responsibility and well-being of its customers. After all, selling beverages that will ultimately retard and kill customers is counter-productive to the sustainability of the very own companies.

DENOSA’s concern is that more people who suffer from consumption of beverages with high sugar content end up filling the country’s health centres for medication for chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, cancer and stroke. Outpatient departments (OPDs) in the country’s hospitals are packed with patients, who are there to collect their medication for these illnesses, and this leads to longer queues and shortage of health workers as well as burnout on the few nurses in health centres.

DENOSA established the NCD project in Mafikeng, North West where health workers at Mafikeng Provincial Hospital embark on healthy living by exercising regularly and eating healthily, while community members embark on sport and gardening activities as a way to fight obesity and overweight which lead to other chronic illnesses.     

With South Africa being the second-biggest economy in Africa, it is leading the Sub-Saharan Africa for being the fattest nation. The Department of Health, in line with South Africa Declaration on the Prevention and Control of NCDs commits to the percentage of people who are overweight and obese by year 2020, has proposed a 20% of tax in these beverages.  

The research shows that a 20% tax on SSBs could reduce the number of obese and overweight adults by more than 220 000. Evidence shows that, in countries where tax on SSBs has been imposed, this measure results in the low intake of such beverages by people, and that overweight and obesity get reduced.

Tax will result in more revenue collection for the state and additional funds for the state to buy enough medication and build more clinics and hospitals, which would be a social responsibility contribution from manufacturers of SSBs.         


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


Twitter: @DENOSAORG 

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SANNAM saddened by killing of two senior Public Health nurses in Lesotho...

Media Statement

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

The Southern African Network of Nurses and Midwives (SANNAM) is highly saddened by the brutal killing of two senior Public Health nurses in Lesotho last week in the month dedicated to African Women, and would like to caution that this behaviour will lead to further drain of the already scarce nurses in the region.

The nurses, between the ages of 30 and 40 years, were found in the middle of the field just 5 kilometres away from the hotel where they were staying in for the duration of the workshop that they had attended at Mmelesi Lodge in Thaba Bosiu. They were beaten up, their heads were bashed and victims appeared to have been raped.

Nurses in Lesotho, led by Lesotho Nurses Association, will be marching to the Prime Minister to deliver a petition on the history of similar cases where nurses were killed and perpetrators never found.

Countries such as Lesotho are struggling to have sufficient number of nurses for their populations, let alone senior nurses with such wealth of experience, at the time of high rate of non-communicable diseases.

SANNAM is would like to urge countries in the SADC region to prioritise the safety of nurses as they are a very scarce resource in the region and some suffer brain drain from developed nations.

With the latest outbreak of diseases such as Ebola, which has now hit countries in West Africa, there is every need to safeguard the safety and well-being of health professionals in the continent. And the killing of nurses, as is the case in many countries in the region, will only worsen the conditions in the continent and SANNAM cannot keep quiet when these incidences happen as often as they do.  

The nurse-to-population ratio in the continent and especially in the SADC region, which is the most hit by extreme socio-economic conditions, is extremely high much to the compromise of quality healthcare for citizens.

“As SANNAM, we demand a full report regarding the death of these nurses and we call upon Head of Police to ensure that perpetrators are found and brought to book,” says Bheki Mamba, Chairperson of SANNAM.         


Issued by the Southern African Network of Nurses and Midwives (SANNAM)

For more information, contact:  

Bheki Mamba, Chairperson of SANNAM (based in Swaziland)

Mobile: 00 268 761 24086




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DENOSA Gauteng congratulates cde Thabang Sonyathi for his election as provincial Treasurer of COSATU Gauteng...

Media statement

17 August 2014

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) Gauteng would like to congratulate its current Treasurer, cde Thabang Sonyathi as well as NUMSA’s Motsamai Ponya, for being elected as the Treasurer of COSATU in Gauteng two days ago.  

DENOSA is confident that, under his efficient and leadership, cde Sonyathi will move the federation to greater heights. He has just been re-elected unopposed as Treasurer of DENOSA Gauteng at the recent provincial congress held from 31 July to 2 August 2014, which is a sign of confidence in and satisfaction with which he has handled the organisation’s financial affairs over the last four years. We expect the same of him in his new position.  

His election is a milestone to the organisation, as he is the first to be elected to the federation’s provincial structure, which is an affirmation of the correct political posture that the organisation is instilling in its cadres going forward.  

We are confident that he will serve the federation with distinction, having been through the organisation’s ranks over the years with full understanding of the federation. DENOSA wishes him all the best in his new challenge, and we pledge our unwavering support whenever he needs us.   


Issued by DENOSA Gauteng

For more information, contact:

Simphiwe Gada, DENOSA Provincial Chairperson in Gauteng

Mobile: 079 501 4869


Facebook: DENOSA National Page



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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


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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