Hospital staff say time for CEO to go

Workers of Louis Trichardt Memorial Hospital embark on protest action to have their voices heard. Insert: Linda Nthumule (Nehawu Limpopo Deputy Chairperson) gives NR Nenguza (Department of Health in Vhembe district, Officer) the memorandum as Mashudu Mabala (Nehawu Limpopo Chairperson) looks on.

LIMPOPO – The workers embarked on early morning and lunch hour protests last Tuesday and Wednesday to call for the CEO to step down. Those involved during the protest included members affiliated with the National Health Education and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu), Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa), Health and Other Services Personnel Trade Union of South Africa (Hospersa) and the Public Servants Association (PSA).

Nehawu Limpopo Deputy Chairperson, Linda Nthulane, said: “We have received numerous complaints from the staff about maladministration and Malatji’s attitude towards workers. We are here to hand over a memorandum to management about the complaints we received from our members”.

She added the workers want to be treated with respect. “The union doesn’t tolerate, corruption, maladministration and nepotism,” she said, adding the situation between the CEO and workers was tense. We have previously engaged with the workers’ forum and met with the District Executive Committee, headed by Chief Director, Robert Sirwali, to discuss our frustrations but the issues discussed remain unresolved. The progress there is has been painstakingly slow and only temporary interventions to keep the peace,” Nthulane added. “These issues lead to poor service delivery and lowers the morale of public servants.”

She said challenges in the hospital are the collapse of the public health systems, unfair labour practices, discrimination, victimisation and corruption under the leadership of Malatji.

Nthulane added the workers all demand the department must recover the committed overtime money paid to Malatji, while not rendering call services at the hospital. They also call for the investigation into money paid to a contractor for the renovation of the maternity ward. Nthulane added the workers demand the CEO lift the suspension of four nurses who were suspended and demand the labour relations officer be replaced.

Nehawu Limpopo Chairperson, Mashudu Mabala, said Malatji had failed to provide ‘strategic leadership’. According to him, factions in the hospital are negatively affecting the patients.

He added Malatji was in conflict with many people and staff and he claimed there was no development of services at the hospital. “It is all due to the CEO’s internal fighting,” Mabala said, adding service delivery had been severely compromised due to the lack of leadership and the mismanagement of funds within the hospital.

The District Officer from the Department of Health in Vhembe, NR Nenguza, received the memorandum and said it would be submitted to the relevant stakeholders.

Malatji declined to comment and referred the matter to the Department of Health. By the time of going to print, no comment had yet been received from the department.

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  AUTHOR
Dovhani Nengovhela

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