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Gauteng Social Development department caught in a cross fire

In August, Gauteng News reported on 67 nurses that have to be reinstated by the Gauteng Department of Social Development, however, the department failed to comply with the judgement handed down by Commissioner Thabe Phalane on 23rd November 2018. The nurses who were unfairly dismissed by the Social Development department applied for their case on 28thSeptember 2018 and the reason for lateness is, the nurses submitted their dismissal after they had consulted with an attorney on different occasions. The applicants signed referral forms but unfortunately some of their names are not on the list of original applicants.

According to the judgement, the applicants submitted that they were appointed as Enrolled Nursing Assistants at various centres around Gauteng.  However, nurses were dismissed on 30 December 2016 when they were informed by the department that their contracts have been expired.

Gauteng News spoke to Advocate Mirriam Barekirepresenting the enrolled nursing assistants, “The Department of Social Development was given 30 days to respond to the judgement handed over by Commissioner Thabe Phalane to reinstate the 67 nurses who were unfairly dismissed. However, as we speak, 30 days has passed and the department has not acted upon the judgement. This court case has been proceeding for about 3 years now without any solution and the unfairly dismissed nurses are still unemployed and it’s very difficult for them to survive at this point.”The applicants had expectations that they would receive permanent jobs from the department as they kept on renewing their contracts but the nurses received a surprise from the department informing them that in the next few days their contract would expire.

The judgement elaborates that the dispute conspired on30th December 2016, however, applicants lodged their application on 28th September 2018. According to thejudgment, the department’s Senior Advocate Gareth Huley raised a preliminary issue that there is a list attached to the applicants’ affidavit which contains four other names. Two names have their signatures attached and two others have not attached their signatures.

“We are very frustrated and there’s no way forward for this matter. A former colleague who was part of the 67 nurses was absorbed by the department and the remaining 66 remains jobless, we were supposed to receive responce from the department but till today there’s no feedback. The department was given a period of time to give us our jobs back but now they made excuses that some applicants on the list had handwritten and not typed their names. I am 48 years old and unemployed, who is going to hire me at my age. I have children who are supposed to go to varsity now they stay at home due to the fact that I am unable tosend them to school. Various interviews were conducted by the department but we were never called for that, instead the department hired people from outside who were carrying brown envelopes at 10 pm to attend interviews”, said Lindiwe Motsepe who is one of the 66 nurses who were unfairly dismissed. 

Gauteng News attempted to reach out the GautengDepartment of Social Development and the Nursing Council South Africa but we were unable to get acomment.

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