ActionSA Calls Upon Gauteng MEC of Health to Act or Step Aside amid Security Guard Protests, Healthcare Worker Layoffs and Food Shortages

ActionSA is deeply concerned that over the past several weeks, we have attempted to engage, with no success, with the Gauteng Department of Health (“DOH”), regarding security guards who have been camping at the Edenvale Hospital. These security guards had not received their salaries for three months, and were unfairly dismissed, on the basis that the service provider, JackCliffy Trading, has terminated its services for the DOH.

JackCliffy Trading, and its owner, Ntshengedzeni Moses Malada, have since disappeared, and cannot be located by either ActionSA or the abandoned employees. The employees have now elected to move from Edenvale Hospital to protest at the office of the MEC in Johannesburg. This is in the hope that the DOH will come to their aid and assist them.

Unfortunately, they were removed by the South African Police Services (SAPS), at the request of the office of the MEC. The DOH simply refuses to engage the exploited security guards and seeks to avoid any redress for them.

Meanwhile, the DOH has simply awarded a new tender for security services at Edenvale Hospital, to a new service provider, to the exclusion of the abandoned security guards. 

The same DOH is failing and deteriorating in other critical respects. It fails to carry out its primary mandate of providing quality healthcare services to the residents of Gauteng.

ActionSA is extremely concerned that this week, the DOH has indicated that over 800 doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers will be retrenched, when these services are in dire shortage. The level of services offered to patients is fraught with the lack of sufficient resources and staff.

This is exacerbated by the food shortages at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, to an extent that nursing staff and public volunteers have had to provide food – at their own expense – for the patients.

This is a strong indication that the DOH is in a state of disaster and dire emergency. The residents of Gauteng cannot be on the receiving end of improper management, and must deal decisively with those responsible, in 2024.

In relation to the Security Guards and JackCliffy Trading, ActionSA is requesting the DOH to furnish us with all documents relating to the tender process and the award of the tender to this company. It is unacceptable that taxpayers’ monies were used to pay this company when the staff it sourced remained unpaid.

These irregular appointments are an easy option for the DOH to simply avoid fair labour practices. We will further request that a of the sub-contracting agreement with JackCliffy Trading be made available to is, in order that we can attempt to assist these security guards.

ActionSA will continue to fight for the rights of exploited workers who find themselves in perpetually unfair working relationships with tenderpreneurs linked to the Tripartite Alliance, which includes the ANC, COSATU and the SACP.

This scenario shows now more than ever that insourcing is the best alternative to eradicate the unnecessary use of labour brokers, who continue to exploit thousands of vulnerable workers across government departments in the country.

ActionSA calls upon the Gauteng Health MEC to act swiftly in these matters, or to step aside.