Nurses perceive government as the enemy

Hundreds of healthworkers marched yesterday against apparent unbearable working conditions & unfair pay.

Hundreds of nurses from across the country marched through central Pretoria for better pay and working conditions on 15 February 2016. Picture:Reinart Toerien/EWN

PRETORIA - Nurses say they perceive government as their enemy because it's known their grievances for years now, but has still not done anything about them.

Hundreds of healthworkers marched to the South African Nursing Council in Pretoria yesterday where they handed over a memorandum of grievances to the council and a representative of Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi.

They say they are working under unbearable conditions and are not getting paid enough.

Nurses from hospitals across Gauteng say they are growing increasingly unhappy 22 years into democracy.

The Young Nurses Indaba's Lerato Gova says government is the enemy and should stop acting surprised every time they hear about health officials mistreating patients.

"The patients that are coming to be [seen to] are not our enemies. They're not the people who are making our working conditions so unbearable. Let us go to the source. The source is the department."

Gezani Baloi says working conditions in the public health sector are completely unacceptable.

"We work long hours but we're not appreciated. We're overworked."

The nurses have given both the council and the National Health Department 14 days to respond to their demands.

WATCH: Nurses say 'no' to current working conditions & wages