As the reality of joining the jobless queue looms large, dozens of Eastern Cape Covid-19 nurses whose contracts come to an end later this month protested in Bhisho on Wednesday.
The nurses have been in talks with the authorities as they had hoped to be absorbed into the system. They have urged premier Oscar Mabuyane to come to their rescue as it looked like the negotiations had hit dead end.
“We will be sleeping here, as from today, until we get a response from Mr Mabuyane,” said one nurse.
Provincial health department spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo maintained that the contracts wouldn’t be renewed.
“The nurses were engaged through the national disaster fund. That fund has been exhausted,” Kupelo said.
“The contracts they signed were only for 12 months … ending March 2021. There are internal engagements that are taking place but, as things stand, the contracts won’t be renewed.”
When approached for comment, Mabuyane’s spokesperson Mvusiwekhaya Sicwetsha said: “We have a lot of questions from the media on this. We are trying to find a way of responding to everyone at once. I will send you our response.”