Sack Motsoaledi now‚ Cosatu tells Ramaphosa

Cosatu says the health system collapsed under Aaron Motsoaledi's watch.
Cosatu says the health system collapsed under Aaron Motsoaledi's watch.
Image: Tiro Ramatlhatse

Cosatu has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to sack health minister Aaron Motsoaledi over the state of public healthcare - saying that the health boss had "spectacularly failed".

The trade union federation has blamed Motsoaledi for the collapse of the healthcare system‚ saying it had reached crisis level. The ANC-aligned federation accused the minister of “denialism and scapegoating”.

Their call comes amid renewed calls for intervention in the public healthcare from opposition political parties.

Cosatu played a role in Ramaphosa's leadership as it is one of the alliance components that backed its leadership. But the federation’s influence over the president is yet to be tested.

This move may also spell the end of the Nasrec honeymoon‚ as Motsoaledi was also one of Ramaphosa's loudest cheerleaders.

A go-slow and community strike in the North West - lead by Cosatu-affiliated Nehawu - over problems at that province’s department of health led to a national government intervention.

Cosatu spokesman Sizwe Pamla said poor communities were paying the price for a total collapse of public health.

“He is the only minister who has been allowed to stay in one position for close to a decade‚ without being reshuffled. He had ample time to set up a vision and implement it over the last nine years‚ but he has spectacularly failed‚” said Pamla.

He said that although health was a provincial competency‚ it was “the centre that has collapsed” leaving the provinces feeling their way in the dark.

“[Motsoaledi] has never taken responsibility for anything from the problems with the NHI‚ South African Nursing Council‚ Health Professionals Council‚ Esidimeni tragedy‚ listeriosis outbreak and other litany of problems that have engulfed the sector over the years‚” he said.

Pamla said Motsoaledi paid lip service to a non-racial and unbiased universal health coverage.

“The amount of money that has been spent on the public health system over the last years has not delivered the desired results. We support the decisions that have been taken by national government over the years to intervene and rescue the health system in many provinces but the problems start with the national department of health under his leadership‚” added Pamla.

He said Cosatu would be joining its unions in the health sector - Denosa and Nehawu – in their campaign push back against the deterioration in the health sector.

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