Gauteng AIDS counsellors spend night on streets

Jack Bloom MPL

Spokesperson on Health

Hundreds of HIV/Aids counsellors and care-givers spent last night on the cold streets of inner city Johannesburg after demonstrating outside the head office of the Gauteng Health Department.

They complain that they have not been paid their monthly stipend of R2500 for counsellors and R2200 for care-givers.
Earlier in the day, police used stun grenades to disperse them.

I raised the issue with Gauteng Health MEC Hope Papo who said that the fault was with the NGOs they worked for. These NGOs were not accountable and did not pay them despite being funded by the department to do this.

However, Zandile Msimango, the spokesperson for the protestors, blames the department (he can be contacted at Tel: 073 936 6680).

My view is that this on-going problem should be sorted out as soon as possible.

These counsellors and care-givers do valuable work. Payment problems should not lead to frequent demonstrations against the department.