The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) fully supports the COSATU CEC decision to embark on a National Strike against State Capture, corruption and job losses on 27 September and would like to urge public servants to take part in the strike to protect their pension money which is becoming a target.
DENOSA is embarking on a mobilization programme in various facilities across the country, building up support for the Strike for those nurses who will be available to take part in the strike. The strike has been granted to COSATU by NEDLAC and Section 77 certificate has been granted, which protects workers who take part in the strike.
In the health sector where DENOSA organises, critical clinical positions in various departments have remained vacant and frozen for far too long. This is largely because of lack of funding, which compromises the quality healthcare service while millions of Rands go up in smoke mysteriously. Many State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) are begging for bailouts in the tune of billions largely because of mismanagement of funds. Currently, the Department of Health in Gauteng is under serious financial constraints that even threaten to disrupt the functionality of the department.
Part of the total shut down on 27 September is that a Commission of Inquiry on State Capture be established as a matter of urgency, so that the funds that get siphoned from public coffers could remain and used for public good. In health, there is a gross shortage of nurses and support staff and equipment. Vacancies remain unfilled for longer periods, thus putting too much strain on few health workers who are in facilities and who are expected to perform miracles.
State Capture and Corruption also threaten to delay the implementation of National Health Insurance (NHI), which is South Africa's Universal Health Coverage (UHC) where all community members have access to quality healthcare service regardless of their socio-economic status.
In the sector, State Capture and corruption also threaten to prolong delays in the payments of Performance bonuses to health workers who continue to work tirelessly, as well as payment of Rural and Danger allowances as well as pay progression for those who are deserving.
In the public sector, out of 1.3 million public servants a whopping 900 000 workers do not have houses, and monies leaving government through corruption and state capture could also assist in narrowing this gap by actualizing Government Employees Housing Scheme.
Nurses are worried that even auditors, who ordinarily should be the last line of defense against misuse of funds, are also made to overlook serious crime being committed in government entities. The latest KPMG concession is a case in point and begs the questions: how many other wrongs in government or SOEs have been overlooked by auditors? How deeply rooted is the problem of State Capture.
DENOSA strongly feels that it is in the interest of every South African who contributes to South Africa's well-being in one way or the other to take part and be counted on this important day so that there are consequences for those who are spearheading the misuse and diversion of public funds.
DENOSA urges all its shop stewards and nurses in general to demand transparency especially in the way their pension money is managed in government. It looks obvious that the R1.8 trillion government employees pension money under the management of PIC remains the only appealing last resort for those who are drying public coffers for their own interest. Nurses are not even well-paid, and their pension money is often their only hope. DENOSA says 'Hands-Off nurses pension money!"
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