Striking workers at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital vow to continue protesting

The health facility was brought to a standstill on Thursday with employees emptying trash cans and medical supplies into hospital hallways and some even threatening patients.

Workers protest at the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital in Johannesburg on 31 May 2018. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Striking workers at the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital say they will continue with their protest until their demands are met.

The health facility was brought to a standstill on Thursday with employees emptying trash cans and medical supplies into hospital hallways and some even threatening patients.

Only 19 of the 50 scheduled operations could go ahead and the dispensary had to be closed.

Workers are demanding higher salaries and bonuses which they claim they are owed.

Chairperson of the labour forum at the hospital Modise Mokwena says: “We’re picketing comrades, until they come up with a solution when are they paying us.

“They promised to engage us, they gave us a memorandum as surety that they will pay but they never paid. So, we’re saying to them 'please pay.'”

The Human Rights Commission has condemned the violence and destruction at the hospital.

The commission says it's concerned by reports that some patients were threatened.

But workers are sticking to their demands and threatening a total shut down.

Nehawu's Lulamile Sibanda: "Comrades, we remain resolute. Nothing and no one will deter us in leading a worker's strike and ensure that we get a PMDS."

Meanwhile, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has described Thursday’s events at the hospital as hooliganism.

Motsoaledi visited the hospital after hundreds of workers went on the rampage over unpaid bonuses.

The Health Minister was outraged at the protest action that occurred at the hospital, saying that the attacks on the sick and vulnerable is totally unacceptable.

He says there is no excuse for any person to behave that way.

Motsoaledi reiterated the fact that he wants those responsible to be arrested and said he will be discussing the matter with the minister of police.

WATCH: Chaos at Charlotte Maxeke over unpaid bonuses