IFP Demands Salaries Be Paid to Covid-19 Healthcare Workers

The IFP demands that the Department of Health in KwaZulu-Natal, led by Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, pay the salaries of its employees, with immediate effect. The IFP has reliably established that some of the healthcare workers employed by this Department in KwaZulu-Natal hospitals – to assist with workload, especially during Covid-19 – have not been paid their salaries for the past two months.

These healthcare workers – who spoke on grounds of anonymity for fear of victimization and losing their jobs – are employed on a six-month contract.

The IFP will also monitor all 4 773 vacancies that were advertised by this Department in June 2020, are filled by MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu. These workers were going to be gradually absorbed into the healthcare facilities in their respective positions. This included 2 408 professional nurses, 1 968 enrolled nurses, 230 general orderlies and 70 ward clerks.

This Department should hang its heads in shame for failing to remunerate these workers who are in the forefront of fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, putting their lives at risk daily. It has been failing to provide these healthcare workers with proper PPE, and now the non-payment of salaries further adds salt to open wounds.

Moreover, these workers have to carry the weight of possibly contracting the virus at any time, yet they are treated unjustly.

We urge this Department to honour their obligation, to stop playing hide-and-seek with employees, and pay them what they are due. Many of them have been on several fruitless trips to Pietermaritzburg, as they were told that the Head Office is responsible for their salaries. This is totally unfair and borders on abuse of these healthcare workers. The majority have frequently visited this Office to enquire about their non-payment using borrowed taxi fares, only to come back without proper answers, or payment.

Mrs T.J. Gumede, MPL
IFP Member of the Health Portfolio in KZN Legislature
073 583 8585