Public servants return

HELPING HAND: Sipho Mnguni of Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital offloads new wheelchairs uyesterday as public services started returning normally after the four-week long wage strike by public servants. Pic. Veli Nhlapo. 02/07/07. © Sowetan.
HELPING HAND: Sipho Mnguni of Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital offloads new wheelchairs uyesterday as public services started returning normally after the four-week long wage strike by public servants. Pic. Veli Nhlapo. 02/07/07. © Sowetan.

Getrude Makhafola and Rebaone Mangope

Getrude Makhafola and Rebaone Mangope

From corridors filled with dirty laundry and litter, to cleanly swept pathways. This points to the end of the four-week labour strike at public hospitals.

Although the strike ended last week, trails of its impact were visible even a few days after it had ended.

Gauteng's major public hospitals saw the much-needed return to normality in their wards, ranging from admissions to functioning dispensaries.

Leratong Hospital spokesman Phumzile Mdlalose told Sowetan yesterday that everything "is in full force".

"Weekends are usually quiet. Our cleaners came on Saturday and did a massive clean-up, so you can see that this is a functioning hospital back on track," said Mdlalose.

She further stated that military personnel did a final handover on Sunday and had vacated the premises.

The same can be said about Soweto's Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital.

Easily recognisable medical staff in uniform were seen happily attending to patients.

Dirty laundry that had previously been left around the wards has since been collected.

Meanwhile, a similar "clean-up" took place at the offices of the Department of Home Affairs as staff reported for work yesterday.

The embattled department was hard at work as everyone tried to make up for lost time.

"In a department like this one, once there is a backlog one cannot get rid of it that easily," said departmental spokesman Pascal Banda. He also said he had initially advised his staff not to join the strike.

Though the strike lasted for four, unpleasant weeks, the turn-around in public hospitals presents a different picture compared to the past weeks.

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