Since 2010, the government has introduced “Re-engineering” of Healthcare in South Africa. They have focused mainly on rolling out this new system in three streams of primary health care (PHC):
- a ward based PHC outreach team for each electoral ward;
- strengthening school health services; and
- district based clinical specialist teams.
The Ward Based Outreach Teams (WBOT) are to be made up of 6 carers, a professional nurse, an environmental health practitioner and a health promoter. Currently there are about 70,000 Community Health Workers (CHW’s) and the government is reducing the number to 45,000.
THIS MEANS THAT MANY OF US WILL BE RETRENCHED IF WE DO NOT ORGANISE AND RESPOND.
We support improving the health care system but not by dumping us. We need more CHW’s not less. We must campaign for improving the public healthcare system by government investing more resources into it and NOT LESS. The NHI must ensure that rich people and private healthcare is taxed more to invest in public healthcare for the majority of our people. WE CANNOT ALLOW EXPERIENCED CARERS TO BE DUMPED.
We Demand our Workers’ Rights and a Living Wage
As care workers we provide a valuable service to our communities and society at large yet we are suffering with several problems. These problems include low wages, a lack of labour rights that most other workers have because we are treated as “volunteers”, hard and sometimes dangerous work without health and safety protection, no social protection and benefits like retirement funds and medical aid and unfair contracts of employment.
We deserve to be treated like professional healthcare workers. Like all other workers, we need and deserve a living wage and decent working conditions.
Why do we have these problems?
Over the years our employer (the government) has grown the number of care workers to improve healthcare for our communities and to deal with the bigger demands on the system caused by poverty and the HIV & Aids pandemic. However, the government has recruited us as “volunteers” and many of us are outsourced to be employed by NGOs. This has meant that we are paid very low wages (stipends) and do not enjoy the workers’ rights and protections in the country’s labour laws.
The government has used us as very cheap labour in the healthcare system to save and cut costs and to do work that better paid healthcare professionals would otherwise have done. WE NEED AND DESERVE DECENT EMPLOYEE STATUS AND A LIVING WAGE!
We must Unite and Organise
On 23 – 26 June 2015, a national meeting was held in Johannesburg of representatives of care workers in all provinces. We decided that the best way for us to improve our situation and win our rights is to form our own care workers union.
We plan to launch our union late next year (2016) with a big membership. In the meanwhile we will register the union and represent care workers to employers.
We need to organise, organise and organise and UNITE – build our national, democratic and independent union – the National Union of Care Workers of South Africa.
Attend NUCWOSA meetings and give your mandate for us to demand and Fight for Union rights, a living wage and NO Retrenchments.
NUCWOSA contact persons
|Province||Name & SURNAME||Contact number|
|Eastern Cape||Pinky MAKINANA||064 591 2966|
|Ruby MUTSI||073 604 6730|
|Free State||Palesa NKOE||081 069 1486|
|William MORE||083 765 6267|
|Gauteng||Thandi VILAKAZI||078 952 5188|
|Mapule LLALE||079 746 0079|
|Khosi GANAMFANA||073 406 8806|
|KwaZulu-Natal||Muzi MZOYI||083 331 4484|
|Limpopo||Colbert HLONGWANE||078 080 9185|
|Lucy RABOPHALA||079 310 1424|
|Clarah MAHLANGU||073 733 6447|
|Mpumalanga||Bonga THUBENI||072 649 7687|
|Annastacia MAGOBOSHA||079 903 3504|
|Enoch MBATSANE||079 396 9322|
|Northern Cape||Nombulelo||074 561 4467|
|Dikgetsi||072 155 7933|
|North West||Bella SEETETSO||083 412 1174|
|Simon RAMAPUPUTLA||078 189 9132|
|Western Cape||Nobuntu MFENGWANA||063 434 0752|
|Noluthando MATSHOBA||076 047 5606|