CHWs Shot and Teargassed for Requesting Response from Health MEC

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Many CHWs in Mpumalanga complain that SASSA has closed their social grants. When they sought answers on why their social grants have been suspended, they were shown papers stating that they are already employed by the Department of Health, although they are still signing fixed-term contracts. This situation caused the CHWs of Mpumalanga to organise themselves and go to the Mbombela Legislature (Endumbeni) on 1 October 2021 to submit a memorandum demanding absorption and permanent positions.

CHWs then went back to the Health Department on 10 October 2021 for a response to the memorandum but the Mpumalanga MEC of Health, Sasekani Manzini, was not available. Her colleagues called her and she said will be available on 15 October 2021. When the CHWs went back on the given date by the MEC, she was again not available but this time the CHWs were told that the MEC had nothing to do with absorption.

The police were then called to chase away the CHWs who were standing outside at the Legislature. They fired rubber bullets and teargas at the CHWs, with some CHWs being injured. An ambulance was called to the scene for the CHWs who were injured.

The CHWs of Mpumalanga say they will not stop fighting for absorption and permanence. Should the Department fail, the CHWs plan to take further and more serious protest action.

This article was submitted on 19 October 2021. You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and Karibu! Online (, and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.

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