15 August 2017

South Africa: Gauteng Health Acknowledges Care Workers' Issues

The Gauteng Department of Social Development says it is sympathetic to the issues raised by hundreds of community care workers, who protested outside its offices in Johannesburg.

The community care workers protested on Tuesday demanding to be recognised as employees of the department and not as volunteers to Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs).

They also want grants the department pays to NPOs to be inflated to accommodate the annual increases of their stipend, and that NPOs should recognise maternity leaves and be registered for the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).

Social Development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza said the department is part of a caring Gauteng Provincial Government that is pro-poor and people centred.

"We are in touch with the needs of the people. We are not only aware of the concerns of the workers but we are in agreement with most of the issues they raised.

"We have on-going meetings to find lasting solutions and incidentally, one such meeting was rescheduled to sit today [Tuesday]. Over time, this issue will be resolved as some [aspects] require national government, while others can be resolved amongst ourselves," MEC Mayathula-Khoza said.

Community care workers are community based workers who, through NPOs, provide care to mostly HIV/AIDS infected or affected households. They also assist with frail care as well as the distribution of food parcels.

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