No allowance increase for striking med students

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

JOHANNESBURG - Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said a strike by South African medical students in Cuba could affect others who might want to study there in future.

Over a 180 of the 1,200 students who are training in that country, have not gone to work for two weeks now and have embarked on a hunger strike.

They are demanding a 300 percent increase in their monthly stipend.

The students currently receive about R1,700 a month, while their accommodation, food, transport and tuition fees are sponsored by the South African and Cuban governments.

Motsoaledi's spokesperson Joe Maila said the minister has written to the students telling them their allowances will not be increased.

“The minister is extremely disappointed because this programme was developed in order to make sure that South Africa has an opportunity to train doctors. They [protesters] are also storming the embassy and doing things that are illegal.”