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strike thumb medium85 85Sowetan reports that patients were last week turned away from a clinic near Mokopane in Limpopo because nurses were on strike.

Pregnant mothers and others in need of medical healthcare at Tshamahansi clinic had to be carted by bakkies a further 8km away to Mosesetjane clinic. Nurses went on strike on Wednesday. An employee at the clinic said the situation was dire. “One of the women nearly gave birth at the clinic. It was by sheer luck that transport was made available to take her to Mosesetjane clinic where she eventually delivered the baby.”

The nurses were allegedly striking because they were owed money. However, provincial health department spokesman Thabiso Teffo said the strike was “illegal”.

He said the issues raised by the nurses had to do with the operational manager.

“Apparently, the operational manager has failed to submit documents for claims to be paid to the nurses.”

According to Dan Makhubela, chairman of Tshamahansi Traditional Council, the nurses said they had not been paid. “But we are saying this [strike] should not come at the expense of the community. We sympathise with the nurses ... but we cannot tolerate a situation where the lives of our people are put at risk.”

Makhubela said they were told that the nurses were owed R1 300 each.

This report by Frank Maponya appeared on page 6 of Sowetan of 9 February 2018

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