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06 Jun 2018 16:26
Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi (Photo: David Harrison)
Cosatu has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to sack health minister Aaron Motsoaledi, arguing that he is directly responsible for the continued deterioration of the healthcare system in the country.
“People are losing their lives on a daily basis and this has reached crisis levels. What has disappointed Cosatu the most is Minister Motsoaledi’s denialism and scapegoating.”
The congress pointed to Motsoaledi’s lack of accountability in the face of a number of crises, including a failure to implement National Health Insurance (NHI), the Esidimeni tragedy and the recent listeriosis outbreak.
“He is the only minister who has been allowed to stay in one position for close to a decade, without being reshuffled.
Motsoaledi has recently clashed repeatedly with the National Health Education and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu), first in the North West province where weeks of protests at hospitals and clinics contributed to the early retirement of Premier Supra Mahumapelo. Last week, Motsoaledi denounced violent protests at Charlotte Maxeke hospital that included Nehawu-affiliated members.
Nehawu is Cosatu’s biggest affiliate and was the first within the trade union federation to endorse President Cyril Ramaphosa for president.
Cosatu says that under Motsoaledi’s leadership, the department of health has lost control over implementation of the NHI, with numerous concessions suggesting a significant watering down from the ambition of universal health coverage.
“Cosatu will be supporting its health sector unions Denosa and Nehawu as they continue with their campaign to push back against the deterioration in the health sector. We commend them for the role that these unions have played in cleaning up the health sector in North West and we shall be rolling out this campaign throughout the country,” stated the federation.
Kiri Rupiah is the Mail & Guardian’s online editor. Read more from Kiri Rupiah
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