Nursing unions can’t agree on who leads march‚ so separate columns set off to vuvuzelas and singing

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Nursing unions can’t agree on who leads march‚ so separate columns set off to vuvuzelas and singing

Katharine Child | 2017-02-22 12:41:33.0

Nurses from unions Nehawu and Denosa are now marching in separate groups.

Image by: Katharine Child/The Times

Nursing unions cannot agree on who will lead their estimated 5 000-strong march through the streets of Pretoria on Wednesday.

Nurses from unions Nehawu and Denosa are now marching in separate groups. The throngs in red and yellow shirts are blowing vuvuzelas and singing.

“Hier kom a groot toyi toyi‚” (Here comes a big toyi toyi) said one onlooker.

The nurses are marching to the national Department of Health offices to demand better working conditions and an end to understaffing of hospitals.

The march will stop at the SA Nursing Council where they will demand it opens more offices to make paying an annual registration fee easier. This would save nurses travelling across the country every year to pay their professional fees. The council closed its office in response to the march‚ which union Denosa called “tone-deaf” leadership.

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Nurses march to the national Department of Health offices to demand better working conditions. Photos by Katharine Child

Denosa spokesman Sibongiseni Delihlazo said the groups could not agree on who would lead the march.

“Its a bit of a mess‚” he said. “We were supposed to be together”.

The numbers of marchers is growing and at least 10 000 are expected.

Denosa signs read “Nurses are human beings too” and the “SA nursing council board must fall”.

Nehawu member Puleng Gololo said there was a severe shortage of nursing staff in hospitals and clinics.

Other placards read: “We are overstretched” and “burn-out is not an attitude.



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