Nearly 300 community health workers hung out to dry with no salaries paid

Acting health MEC Jacob Mamabolo apologises for 'letting them down'

Out of 8,719 community health workers due to be absorbed into the employ of the Gauteng health department, 8,437 have been appointed, acting MEC Jacob Mamabolo said on Tuesday.
Out of 8,719 community health workers due to be absorbed into the employ of the Gauteng health department, 8,437 have been appointed, acting MEC Jacob Mamabolo said on Tuesday.
Image: Tyler Olson/ 123RF.com

More than 280 community health workers contracted by the Gauteng health department have not been paid their latest salaries, says acting health MEC Jacob Mamabolo.

“The Gauteng department of health wishes to apologise to community health workers who have been negatively affected by the delay in the finalisation of their appointment and payment,” he said on Tuesday.

Mamabolo said that out of 8,719 community health workers who were due to be absorbed permanently into the employ of the department, 8,437 had been appointed and the  department was finalising the appointment of the remaining 282.

He explained that the appointment of this category of workers was part of the commitment made by his department to permanently absorb all community health workers as part of the staff cohort to ensure that public health education and promotion is strengthened, among other things.

“It is important that we profusely apologise for the inconvenience caused. Outstanding administration processes should be completed by the end of this week in order for the remaining appointments to be effected and for the payments to be processed,” he said.

This comes hardly a month after nurses who were appointed on Covid-19 contracts didn’t receive their salaries at the end of August.

At least 80 Covid-19 contracted nurses at Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital in Pretoria had not been paid their July salaries.

Mamabolo directed the department to compile a consolidated report on Covid-19 human resource related issues at all facilities to ensure that health workers were not inconvenienced any further.

That report was never made public. Mamabolo’s spokesperson Kwara Kekana said it was meant for internal use only and not for the media.

The provincial department has appointed more than 681 nurses during this financial year to augment its workforce as part of the Covid-19 response. A total of R500m has been budgeted for contracting various categories of workers across all institutions, inclusive of all categories of nurses.

“It is simply unacceptable that workers are not paid. We cannot expect front-line workers to lead the fight against the coronavirus while we are letting them down in terms of their remuneration,” said Mamabolo.

TimesLIVE


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