12 December 2018

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

analysis

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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