A last-minute payment of more than 200 intern doctors yesterday averted a legal showdown with the Gauteng department of health.
The doctors had not been paid the January salaries, leading to their association serving the department with an ultimatum to pay or face court action.
The department failed to meet a January 31 deadline for salary payments due to administrative delays, placing scores of intern doctors under financial strain.
Yesterday, the South African Medical Association (Sama) said it had served the department with a letter of demand on Friday, with a view to heading to the high court today if the 222 doctors were not paid.
However, spokesperson for health MEC Dr Gwen Ramokgopa, Khutso Rabothatha, said intern doctors had been paid by midday yesterday, adding that there was no need for Sama to approach the high court for relief.
"There won't be any need for that anymore because people were paid," Rabothatha said.
Yesterday, Sama board member Dr Rhulani Ngwenya said they served the department with a letter of demand after some people were still unpaid by February 7.
Ngwenya said the aim was to seek an urgent interdict forcing the department to pay salaries.