IFP condemns recklessness by Department of Health amid Covid-19 third wave scare

The IFP is shocked by the level of recklessness displayed by the Department of Health in KwaZulu-Natal, which allegedly called throngs of people to flock to the newly-built Pixley ka-Isaka Seme Memorial Hospital for job interviews.

Hundreds of people descended upon the Hospital claiming they were contacted by the Department of Health for interviews.

Some of the hopefuls who braved long queues and ate nothing for the whole day, spoke to the IFP on grounds of anonymity. They claimed that they were telephoned and asked to come and participate in the interview process. We have also learnt that a second batch of hopefuls will descend on the Hospital, as they were also contacted.

This is negligence of the highest order.

Whoever initiated this fiasco should be brought to book. It is absurd that the Department – which should be encouraging social distancing and discouraging super spreader gatherings like this one – is the one calling people to gather in large numbers.

When the MEC for Health in KwaZulu-Natal, Hon. Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, was questioned about the employment process and overall progression of the opening of the Hospital, she informed the Health Committee in KwaZulu-Natal Legislature that all systems were ready for the opening of the Hospital. She further promised that a proper programme was in place to ensure a smooth process for the employment of workers and promised that by July 2021, the Hospital would be in full operation.

However, what we are witnessing at the Hospital right now is a disgrace and highly irresponsible of the Department. It could result in new Covid-19 infections and the unnecessary deaths of many more people.

The KZN Government is aware of how desperate people are for job opportunities in this Province. They should therefore be sensitive enough to avoid this type of shortlisting process, which could result in unnecessary fatalities. We call upon MEC Simelane-Zulu to urgently attend to this matter before many people get infected with Covid-19 or die in the stampede for jobs.

Mrs N. J Nkwanyana, MPL
IFP Spokesperson on Health in KwaZulu-Natal