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DENOSA Gauteng strongly condemns retrenchments of 749 newly qualified nurses by Gauteng Department of Health

Media statement

Thursday, 03 February 2022

JOHANNESBURG – The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) in Gauteng strongly condemns the retrenchment of 749 newly qualified professional nurses who have just concluded their community service in the province at a time when they should be easing the pressure of staff shortage and long queues in healthcare facilities throughout the province.

We are highly disgusted by the planned retrenchments especially after engaging the department when they inhumanely dismissed them verbally and via WhatsApp messages on the 31st of December 2021. While we thought we spoke sense to them, they then went on to issue an embarrassing circular (attached) where they tried to cover up their procedural irregularity.

It is concerning that in the middle of a pandemic Gauteng Health thinks that it is strategic to dismiss professional nurses who they trained using taxpayer’s money – what a wasteful expenditure and incompetency. Why train them from the first instance? Now the nurses stand to be lost to the private sector while they were produced by government’s funds worth millions of rands.

While the province continues to battle with gross staff shortages, they continue misusing money by using agency nurses while at the same time claiming not to have money and continue cutting the compensation of employees’ budget by a whopping R4 billion.

We wish to remind the ruling party, the ANC, to implement their manifesto as was promised in the manifesto and the NDP in which they promised to increase jobs from 13 million to 24 million by 2030. They further promised to build a resilient health system which will ultimately lead to the implementation of the NHI in phases by ensuring the availability of adequately skilled staff.

DENOSA will engage the ANC in this regard to stop this madness and embarrassing contradictions. We will also engage our structures, all progressive forces and young people in Gauteng who remain unemployed to develop a programme to march to the ANC to demand accountability as a ruling party.

What is scarier is that the 780 community service nurses, who have just entered the system as of January 2022, will be flushed like used condoms from the system of employment come December 2022 by this reckless and incompetent department if it continues on its current path of lack of care.

This madness by the department takes place at the time when the global nursing council, the International Council of Nurses (ICN), which DENOSA is an affiliate of representing South Africa, warns of a ‘Migration Tsunami’ of nurses from low-income countries to high-income countries like the in Europe and the US due to global shortage of nurses that is estimated to reach the 13 million mark in the next ten years if nothing is done by governments to ensure safe staffing levels.  

Circular CS Nurses_220131_150752


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

For more information, contact:

Simphiwe Gada, DENOSA Gauteng Provincial Chairperson.

Mobile: 079 501 4869

Bongani Mazibuko, DENOSA Gauteng Acting Provincial Secretary

Mobile: 071 686 9544

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