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Union vs Government: Lives lost in ongoing NEHAWU Strike – Who’s to blame?



Nehawu blames the government for the lives lost during the strike

On Sunday, the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union’s (Nehawu’s) general secretary, Zola Saphetha, addressed the media in Johannesburg. According to Eye Witness News, he asserted that the government, not the union, should be held accountable for any lives lost during the ongoing strike.

Despite the claims made by Health Minister Joe Phaahla, who stated that lives had been lost during a site visit at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital last Wednesday, Saphetha maintained that the allegations were unfounded and that the union had acted lawfully.

Some hospital staff have also claimed they were intimidated by Nehawu members, while emergency teams were reportedly unable to respond to specific calls due to blockades.

The Department of Health’s preliminary report suggests that the standoff resulted in fatalities.

Meanwhile, the impasse over salary increases between Nehawu and the government continues, and the union confirmed that the strike would intensify on Monday, the 13th of March, 2023.


While the government has offered a 4.7% wage increase, Nehawu demands a 10% increase.

Also read: Ramaphosa Urges Essential Workers to Continue Working Amidst Violent Nehawu Strike

Picture: Twitter / tndaba

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