Protesters hurl insults at Limpopo health MEC
Unexplainable insults were hurled at Limpopo MEC for health Phophi Ramathuba during the march by members of the National Union of Public Service and Allied Workers (Nupsaw) in Polokwane yesterday.
She was accused of failing to implement a resolution to absorb home-based carers into the system. The march, attended by thousands of people including general secretary of the South African Federation of Trade Unions Zwelinzima Vavi, took place under a scorching sun with most members protecting themselves with umbrellas of different colours.
It was attended by early childhood development workers, security officers, and a coalition comprising members of nonprofit organisations from all corners of the province. Prior to embarking on the march, red Nupsaw T-shirts were distributed to people to ensure the city of Polokwane was painted red. Traffic came to a standstill as the march began at about midday.
“Down with slave wages. Down with outsourcing. Yes to R5 500 minimum wage,” said Vavi to loud cheers.
Nupsaw is demanding the absorption of workers into various provincial government departments. “We demand the implementation of resolution 1 of 2018 whereby it was agreed that community development workers will be absorbed into government,” said Solly Malema, the union's national organiser.
He said the march sought to put pressure on the national department of health to “immediately” comply with the Public Health and Social Development Sectoral Bargaining Council (PHSDSBC)'s resolution to start with the back payments of the standardised remuneration for community health workers of R3 500 effective from June 2018 through the persal system.
“Secondly, we want to challenge the decision of the trade unions who are party to the PHSDSBC and the employers conniving to increase membership threshold from 10 000 to 30 000 members, which would automatically remove Nupsaw from being party to the PHSDSBC,” he said.
The union's leadership delivered the memorandum of demands to the provincial head of the health department Dr Peter Kgaphola, who assured them it would be responded to within the stipulated seven days' period. “We have received your memorandum and will respond appropriately,” he said.
The march is still proceeding to other departments where memorandums were to be submitted.