The DENOSA Student Movement's 6th National Congress was concluded successfully on 23rd February at the Aldam Resort and Conference Centre in Ventersburg, Free State, where the six National Office Bearers (NOBs) were elected to serve for the next two years.
The congress, which began on 21 February, ran successfully and reflected on the most pertinent issues in nursing education, as well as the health in South Africa.
Reflecting on the state of nursing in South Africa, outgone National Chairperson, Thabiso Molusi, said it was extremely said that many nurses find themselves unemployed after they finish their course at the time when patients and communities are in dire need of nurses.
He said some even opt to work supermarkets just to make ends meet, because poor HR planning in the provincial departments of health does not show any signs of improvement.
Present at the Congress were components of the Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA) namely SASCO, Young Communist League of South Africa (YCLSA), COSATU Young Workers Forum and PSI Young Workers.
YCLSA National Executive Committee (PEC) member, Mzwandile Thakudi, urged DENOSA to ensure that the migration of the custodianship of nursing education in public colleges in South Africa from the Department of Health in provinces to the Department of Higher Education and Training becomes a success so that access to nursing education could be expanded.
He said, unlike in the current setting where the colleges are only accessed by those on a bursary system, under the Department of Higher Education the access will increase and that those students will be assisted financially by the National Student Aid Financial Scheme (NSFAS).
Leader of PSI Young Workers, Lehlohonolo Maphatsoe, called on DENOSA members and students not to confine their struggle to nursing only, because there are other equally important developments that need them in order to enhance the health of citizens. He mentioned water as the latest in being commercialized now.
On the last day, delegates voted for the new leaders to lead the Student movement for the next two years. The results were as follow:
National Chairperson: Nathaniel M Mabelebele (Gauteng)
1st National Deputy Chairperson
Shyleen Fulufhelo Hakata (Limpopo)
2nd National Deputy Chairperson
Bonolo Botsime (Northern Cape)
Sphumelele Blose (KZN)
National Deputy Secretary
Boitumelo Maila Mogane (Mpumalanga)
Nomvula Mathibe(Free State)
In closing the Congress, the newly-elected Chairperson, Nathaniel Mabelebele, called in student to be the think-tank of the mother body through producing position papers and giving their views and advices. He said the elders in the mother body need not be threatened.
Mabelebele said nurses should be at forefront in the NHI consultations to ensure that they also get paid for their services, which they must claim directly from the NHI Fund.
He called for the resuscitation of the Positive Practice Environment (PPE) campaign within DENOSA.
He said one of the immediate tasks for the new leadership is to ensure that they are visible on the ground by visiting provinces and getting the basics right.