12 December 2018

South Africa: Sick Building, Sick Department - Unhealthy Environment At Head Office


For the past eight months, the national Department of Health has been unable to address poor conditions at its head office, in part because of a breakdown in relations between the Minister and the Director-General.

A conflict between the Health Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi and the Director General, Precious Matsoso, has led to a climate of suspicion, paranoia and paralysis at the national Department of Health, according to multiple sources.

The conflict is particularly affecting two central issues: the introduction of the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme and the management of Civitas, the building that houses the national department.

Civitas staff productivity and morale is at rock-bottom, and many of the staff have, since April, refused to set foot in the building because it is unsafe.

"In 2016, 80% of Civitas was declared non-compliant with health and safety regulations," said Bhungani Mxolo, shop steward for the national Department of Health branch of the National Education, Health and Allied...

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