SA bans health workers from Zim

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BY SILAS NKALA

The leadership of South Africa’s Department of Public Health has started to reject requests from Zimbabwe’s health workers on the grounds that its neighbor is currently facing a staffing crisis due to migration.

This was revealed in a letter to some Zimbabwean candidates last week, which was signed by South Africa’s director of public health for workplace management, Sindile Sodladla.

“The Government of South Africa is required to adhere to all relevant protocols between the member states of the Southern African Development Community (Sadc), the African Union (AU) as well as the World Organization of health with regard to the recruitment of health professionals from developing countries. country, ”Sodladla wrote.

“These recruitment agreements, protocols and codes were designed to prevent the uncontrolled recruitment of health professionals from countries where the public health system faces enormous staff shortages, especially in the health professions. health.”

Sodladla said all public health sector employment authorities have signed up to the relevant recruitment agreements, protocols and codes.

“In view of the above, the Department regrets to inform you that your application for approval for registration and employment in South Africa has not been accepted. Your country, Zimbabwe, is not in the category of countries that the RSA Ministry of Health should recruit from, ”Sodladla said.

He said the copy of the letter would be submitted to the South African immigration authorities, the Home Office as well as the South African Council of Nurses.

“It is in your best interest, you are advised to familiarize yourself with the relevant immigration legislation and not to travel to South Africa to promote your request for support. The department will not be able to reconsider your application once you arrive in the country, ”Sodladla added.

The president of the Association of Migrant Workers of South Africa (MWA-SA), Butholezwe Nyathi, has confirmed that some of Zimbabwe’s health professionals have received such letters after applying to be registered in that country.

“We are further dismayed by the reintroduction of this regulation which was adopted by the apartheid regime. This aims to limit the international freedom of movement of people. We wonder if the leaders of the South African government and Sadc are happy with the movement of health workers to Western countries when they could stay in Africa to serve Africans, ”Nyathi said.

He said the MWA-SA would continue to engage labor federations like the South African Federation of Trade Unions and the Congress of South African Trade Unions, among others in the Sadc region, to establish migrant offices in their affiliates. .

Nyathi said this would ensure that they facilitate the organization of migrants, including their movements in the Sadc region for better socio-economic activities.

Zimbabwe Nurses Association president Enoch Dongo said he was unaware of the new development in South Africa.

He said if this was true then it was against the SADC and AU protocols on the free movement and employment of Africans across the region.

“If this is true, I think it will be a department taking matters into its own hands, as we have no agreement to this effect within Sadc and AU,” Dongo said. .

“This is not in line with the protocol we know (Sadc Protocol on employment and work). We are waiting for a protocol that allows people to travel and obtain jobs in the region. It needs to be explained.

Deputy Health Minister John Mangwiro said he was unable to immediately comment on the matter as he was locked in a meeting.

The SADC Protocol on Employment and Labor (2014) directs member states to cooperate in all areas necessary to foster regional development and integration on the basis of balance, equity and equality. mutual benefit, including work, referring inter alia to social and human aspects. development and social well-being.

Follow Silas on Twitter @silasnkala


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