REMINDER: Caring nurse in SA to be announced in Pretoria on Thursday 20 November...


Award named after a first nurse to be infected with Ebola in South Africa

With the Ebola pandemic in Africa making global headlines currently, the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) will be announcing country’s nurse As courageous as the first nurse to be infected with Ebola in South Africa when the 2014 Marilyn Lahana Caring Award will be bestowed on the most caring nurse in the country for the year at a ceremony to be held at the Arcadia Hotel in Pretoria on Thursday 20 November 2014 at 18h30. This is happening at the time when more than 300 health workers have fallen victims to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, while very few have been reported on by media...often only the health workers from outside of Africa.    

Contrary to increasing belief that nurses do not care, the 2014 annual Marilyn Lahana Caring Award will be bestowed upon the most caring and committed nurse despite the conditions they work under, voted for by fellow nurses, patients and members of communities. MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA ARE INVITED TO THE EVENT TO REPORT.

The awards are for nurses who have shown commitment and care towards their patients above the needs of their own. The award process is in two phases, where phase one comprise of provincial nominations. Winners in provinces compete for the national trophy as well as a winning prize. The provincial winners are fighting for the top three prizes.  

DENOSA, with over 84 000 nurses as its members, administrates the awards nomination process which honours outstanding members of the nursing and midwifery profession who have shown special quality of caring and dedication towards their patients and colleagues.

The awards are named after and commemorate Marilyn Lahana who was a theatre nurse at the time when her courageous and selfless act of placing the interest of her patients above hers cost her life. A patient from who had contracted Ebola virus was admitted to a Johannesburg health facility where she was working. 

Marilyn took the risk and cared for the patient, but she contracted the disease and died soon after. For more information on her falling sick, click here. Trustees from the Marilyn Lahana Caring Trust will be present and hand over the award to the deserving winners, including Marilyn Lahana’s husband, Cyril Lahana.   

Last year, professional nurse from Lesethleng Clinic in North West, Tshepo Matshaba, took the first prize.


FOR MEDIA RSVP, contact Sibongiseni Delihlazo – or 079 875 2663.  

Details of the event are as follows:

DATE: Thursday 20 November 2014

VENUE: Arcadia Hotel

TIME: 18h00 for 18h30


Issued by 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


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DENOSA Learner Movement Leadership and NLM Media Statement...

1 September 2014


DENOSA Learner Movement held a National Learner Movement from the 30-31 August 2014 at DENOSA Head Office in Pretoria, where robust engagements were the order of the day. The National Learner Movement deliberated on a number of issues affecting student nurses and nursing education in South Africa.


We urge all the leaders as well as members of DENOSA Learner Movement to contest in SRC Elections in ensuring that we advance the interests of student nurses and the nursing education at large. We note the jurisdiction of DENOSA in institutions of higher learning as well as nursing institutions. We note how policies are selective in terms of how trade unions should represent students as the National Department of Health prohibits student nurses from starting with clinical practice before having a proper indemnity cover. It’s a worrying factor that our members are not receiving full benefits of the organisation due to policies in our institutions of learning. As we swell ranks of student governance, we will become key policy-makers in our respective institutions and should champion the fact that prospective members are not prohibited from joining the organisation by lecturers who undermine the constitution of the Republic of South Africa when it speaks on freedom of association.


DENOSA Learner Movement is concerned with the high failure rate in the nursing colleges across the country; it has become a norm though unacceptable and unethical that is witnessed in nursing education. We condemn the conduct of lecturers whose primary role is to ensure that students fail and not progress in their academic obligations. Our student leaders are always targeted particularly academically so as to silence and ultimately exclude them. A survey and statistics as to the trend of high failure rates in nursing education should be conducted.


DENOSA Learner Movement is planning to host National Health Games in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape in 2015 which will play a major role in promoting healthy lifestyle, particularly within young people. DENOSA Learner Movement is very serious about the health of South Africans in general and our members in particular. It is our duty to educate our beloved nation in terms of a healthy lifestyle.


DENOSA Learner Movement condemns the conduct of some MEC’s of Health as they increasingly become an impediment in advancing the goals and ambitions of the National Department of Health. Our MEC’s are not following on progressive leadership provided by Minister Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi. The autonomy has proven to produce uncooperative MEC’s who look down upon and disregard the nursing profession. The role of the National Health Council is yet to be realised by all stakeholders in the health sector particularly in nursing education. We will further monitor and evaluate the performances of all MEC’s of Health as well as the Minister of Health and we will lead campaigns to address those that deliberately attempt to impede the envisaged progress in nursing education.


The bursary system as a funding model in nursing education should be abolished and PERSAL system should be implemented with full benefits as the bursary system has proven to be more detrimental than progressive. Nursing education is highly regulated and it is legally obliged that all parties, including Department of Health across all provinces and also the national, observe those legislative frameworks. We call on the implementation of the PERSAL system by the next academic year so as to provide uniformity across the nursing education and also serve as a tool to attract young people to the already aging nursing profession. Students work 40 hours per week and are exposed to the same conditions as other permanent health workers, thus a dual status of student and employee. The provinces which are using the PERSAL system witness lesser student unrests and those provinces using bursary system are witnessing constant student unrests.


Our accommodation leaves much to be desired and leaves a sour taste in our mouths; our residence are not safe and not conducive to ensuring academic excellence. Our students are exposed to all sorts of criminal activities in our residences due to the fact that the Provincial Departments of Health disregard the plight of student nurses. It is totally unacceptable that our students are assaulted on campus; students’ properties get stolen because nobody is held accountable. Safety in residences is very much compromised and a serious area of concern.


We need to engage with the Minister of Health and the entire Portfolio Committee on Health to re-enforce the need and importance of the nursing education in South Africa. We have common problems in provinces which are of national interest. It is a prerogative of DENOSA National Learner Movement to pursue that nursing education is of essence and every stakeholder is recognised in the health fraternity.


DENOSA Learner Movement is and should be the vanguard of all student nurses in the country. Our role is to ensure that our membership will be represented as such. Our students are now victims of the triple crisis due to our regressive Department of Health. The Department of Health is treating student nurses as the doormat whereby they wipe off their dirty shoes.


SANC has been historically disadvantaging the nurses in general and nurses are exposed to such incompetence from SANC. We call for SANC to be decentralized and have provincial offices in all provinces. We are highly concerned by lack of commitment from SANC as it takes months to register student nurses after completion of their training.


As DENOSA Learner Movement, we note that the 11th National Congress of COSATU resolved that all affiliates should establish youth forums/ student movements; we have been in forefront of ensuring that the resolution is implemented as such. DENOSA Learner Movement will initiate and be at the forefront of establishing COSATU Young Workers Forum. Issues of young people are complex in nature and are better understood by young people.




Issued by the DENOSA Learner Movement


For more information, contact:


Tshepo Monoketsi: National Chairperson




Nkululeko Mapaila: National Secretary



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REMINDER: DENOSA 7th National Congress from 30, 31 (October) and 01 November 2014 at Birchwood Hotel in Boks...



The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) will be holding its three-day 7th National Congress from the 30th, 31st of October to the 1st of November at Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg, in Ekurhuleni, under the theme: “Advancing unity for nurses”.


The National Congress is the highest decision-making structure of DENOSA and it meets once every four years where the organisation’s strategic direction for the next four years is paved and where leadership that will lead the organisation for the next four years will be elected.


The Guest Speakers to address the more than 600 delegates on the first and last days of the DENOSA Congress will include Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi; COSATU General Secretary, Zwelinzima VaviMinister of Higher Education and General Secretary of the SACP, Dr Blade Nzimande, and a leader from the ANC.    


Deliberations at the congress will centre around health matters in general and state of nursing in particular and the role that nurses must play in advancing the concept of Universal Health Coverage, which is a global health agenda as envisaged and committed to by nations of the world.


The congress will take place in the background where South Africa prepares to move into second gear in the implementation of NHI, as well as achieving the health targets as outlined in the National Development Plan (NDP).


This is the gathering of the category that makes up majority health professionals in both the country and the world, and their reflections on the current state of health in the country and where it should be, in the presence of many heads of nursing within government, is the most relevant platform.        


Members of the media are cordially invited to the first and third days of the Congress and report.


For media accreditation processes and ease of entrance to the conference venue, media representatives are requested to RSVP to DENOSA Communications Manager, Sibongiseni Delihlazo by making use of the following contact details: 


Email: or

Mobile: 079 875 2663

Tel: 012 343 2315


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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Nursing Update

November 2014

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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