Letter to the Editor – MEC must clarify status of health workers’ jobs or face possible medical supply chain catastrophe

By Imran Keeka, MPL, DA KZN Spokesperson on Health:

DURING a Sitting of the KZN Legislature held this week, the DA called on provincial Health MEC, Sibongiseni Dhlomo, to urgently clarify the status of health workers’ jobs at the central medicines depot in Durban.

Earlier this month, workers embarked on protest action following uncertainty around their future employment.  They claimed that the Health department’s ‘spiritless engagement’ had not provided them with any reassurance.

When they met the department advised of the possible phasing out or retrenching of workers in order to reach a staff complement of 30%.  Yet even this remains an uncertainty because no such plan or decision has been tabled before KZN’s health portfolio committee or the legislature.

The DA believes that this has the power to ignite further strike action.

It is critical that the MEC talk to his staff and dispel any untruths about jobs being lost especially during the tough times of a possible recession in days to come. In the event that he does not, KZN may well face a future medicine supply chain catastrophe that will affect the poorest of the poor.

The DA will continue to hold the MEC accountable – both for his lack of proper intervention and for any suffering as a result. We expect him to act