“We want to be absorbed too”

The Mpumalanga Community Health Care Workers (MCHCW), are calling on the Management Forum to release them to the Department of Health. On the 13 July 2019, the MCHCW met with Gauteng Community Health Care Forum to help them with mobilisation and tackling the issue of absorption by Mpumalanga Health Department. The MCHCW are still working under Non-Governmental Organisations which are controlled by Management Forum (NGO owners).

The MEC for the Mpumalanga Department of Health, Sasekani Manzini, had a gathering with community health care workers and the Management Forum, announcing that the CHWs are going to be absorbed under Department of Health. Meanwhile, the CHWs are happy about the change of their work positions but the Management Forum advised them that they must not agree to be absorbed because the Department of Health does not offer benefits.

According to Bongani Thubane who belongs to the MCHWC, the CHWs in Mpumalanga “do not have access to information about what is happening about the CHWs in general, however we are being controlled by the Management Forum which abuses their power”, he told the Karibu Newspaper. He continued saying that “the process of paying Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) it is so suspicious because after getting our wages we pay the UIF fee to a certain bank account and send the receipt to the owners of the NGOs.” Thubane concluded his comments telling Karibu that the “Total of UIF being paid for the whole year is R350, 00 but we are not appearing on Department of Labour system”.

Annah Mmowa works for MCHCH raised an issue of maternity leave which is unpaid leave for the whole four months. “With the problem of unpaid maternity leave we end up giving birth then come back to work immediately because the baby need food”, said Mmowa. She continued by saying Management Forum must release us so we can be department of health workers, working under them is traumatising because we do not have rights to say anything because we fear that we will get fired. Management Forum does not want us to be absorbed because they know that their NGOs will be closed as they will not receive funds to run their NGOs.

The Mpumalanga Community Health Care Workers worked for four months without payment. On 16 July 2019 Management Forum will be marching to bargaining council to say the CHWs does not want to be absorbed which is not a truth said Thubane. He concluded by saying that they will go to the march and hear what is tabled before the arbitrator.

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