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DENOSA Eastern Cape statement on the nurse who committed suicide for being unemployed 

Media statement 

Thursday, 19 May 2022

GQEBERHA – The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) in the Eastern Cape is disheartened to learn of a nurse who resorted to taking his own life after the Department of Health failed to renew their COVID-19 contracts, which speaks volumes about the stress that many unemployed nurses in the province go through whereas their services are greatly needed in facilities. 

The news is circulating on social media of a male nurse from Tsolo, under Mhlontlo Local Municipality, who was part of the contracted nurses and whose contracts were never renewed. He was part of a joint march by hundreds of unemployed nurses and community service nurses in March this year to the Department’s provincial offices in Bhisho to demand their reemployment after their contracts were not renewed.

He share with his friends that he cannot cope with being unemployed. 

DENOSA believes the Department of Health in the province should shoulder the blame for the death of this nurse because the gross shortage of nurses in the province’s healthcare facilities makes it impossible to understand how there could still be nurses who remain unemployed. 

The Eastern Cape remains with unacceptably high unemployment rate, and the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the situation, which left many homes below the breadline. Many unemployed people currently have lost breadwinners at homes, living many households with no income whatsoever. The high levels of stress on many unemployed graduates and professionals in the province is what has led to incidents like this, where graduates and professionals are made by the governing system to feel useless and helpless with no show of commitment to salvage the situation. 

DENOSA has engaged the department on numerous occasions over this urgent matter, and task teams have been put in place but with no really tangible outcomes to date. Some nurses have even gone to as far as the National Department of Health offices in Pretoria. The little progress in as far as employing healthcare workers so far has been the release of 2900 posts, which is a drop in the ocean considering that almost 9000 healthcare workers were flushed from the province’s healthcare system recently.

Nurses are regarded as essential service workers, and yet the Department is allowed by the Treasury to shed essential jobs which are key to the service of humanity. 


Issued by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) in the Eastern Cape. 

For more information, contact:

Sivuyile Sikwe, Acting Provincial Secretary.

Mobile: 072 561 6454 

Sivuyile Mange, DENOSA Eastern Cape Provincial Chairperson.

Mobile: 072 575 5136     

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