Steve Biko Academic Hospital ends contract after guards protest over unpaid wages

 

Pretoria – The Gauteng Department of Health has terminated the contract of a private security company “with immediate effect” after its employees staged a protest at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital on Monday.

The department said the termination of the contract was dictated by the unprotected strike over an alleged salary dispute; and the security guards’ “unbecoming behaviour”.

The group of security guards used stones and rubble to block the entrance to the hospital in Pretoria and vandalised signage and vegetation.

The blockade lasted around an hour before it was cleared by police.

The security guards alleged they had not been paid by their employer, said the hospital’s acting CEO Mathabo Mathebula.

Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa in a statement she was pleased that the hospital’s management had acted swiftly to manage the situation.

“The new security company has been brought on board and they have [taken up] their responsibilities,” she said.

“Although we respect the rights of employees to strike, we should be reminded that health facilities provide essential services, therefore, we cannot tolerate lawlessness and disruption of service in these critical institutions.”

Ramokgopa also commended police for restoring calm during the protest.

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