The National Education Health & Allied Workers Union [NEHAWU] is utterly revolted by the Tanzanani Trading Enterprise for putting the lives of patients, workers and the public in danger at Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital because of their shoddy and poor workmanship.
This Project Company was contracted by the Gauteng Provincial Government to do waterproofing at the main entrance of the hospital. Due to its shoddy workmanship, the roof of the main entrance collapsed and injured four workers. It is important to note that despite the specified mandate given by the provincial government, the contractor recklessly chose to go beyond this mandate.
As NEHAWU, we condemn the company with the contempt it deserves as their carelessness could have resulted in extreme fatalities including loss of life. This happens in the hospital that service many patients in the greater Johannesburg area and which patients need it on daily basis for medical assistance hence it is very imperative to ensure safety of patients, workers and the public at all times.
In the past, concerns have been raised in relation to the structural integrity of the building especially the X-Ray Department. Little work has been done to address these issues since they were raised in 2012 and this is after a report authored by independent consultants which warned Gauteng Provincial Government of an imminent collapse of the structure. We call upon the Gauteng Health Department to revisit the findings of this report and immediately act on its recommendations.
In this regard, the union call upon the government to conduct a further investigation into this incident including the process followed when appointing the Tanzanani Trading Enterprise. We hold a strong view that the public need to ascertain if this company met all requirements required as prerequisite to award the tender.
There are clear signs that the incident could have been avoided if necessary precautions were undertaken hence we are more than convinced that this company is not fit to do the job so they must not be allowed to see the conclusion of this task.
Our view as the national union is that a speedily implementation of the National Health Insurance is necessitated by occurrences of this nature. Through the NHI, government would be able to have a comprehensive plan to deal with infrastructure maintenance, design and development suitable to the modern needs.
This occurrence also dictates and necessitate a need to inspect all health institutions to ensure that all standard safety requirements are satisfied or met in order to protect patients, works and the public from such occurrences in future. At this stage, NEHAWU wishes for speedily recovery to all those workers injured either physically or emotionally and also sympathise with families and members of the public affected.
Issued by NEHAWU