Health Systems

TAC Supports NEHAWU Campaign Against Dysfunction in Limpopo Healthcare System

The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) in Limpopo Supports the National Education Health and Allied Workers’ Union’s (NEHAWU) campaign against the Limpopo Department of Health for failing both workers and users of the public healthcare system in the province.

In a statement released on Thursday NEHAWU said that the provincial health department is failing the people of Limpopo by allowing the deterioration of infrastructure and by failing to address ongoing shortages of medicines and medical equipment. The NEHAWU statement read, “Over the past five {5}  years the department has had five {5} MEC’s but the level of service continues to deteriorate. We believe that at the centre of this poor service delivery is the bureaucracy which interested serving its own narrow interests.”

TAC Limpopo has been raising similar concerns about dysfunction in the healthcare system with the Limpopo department of Health for years in an attempt to find a constructive way forward. Yet, on the ground hardly anything has changed. The right to access healthcare services continues to be violated routinely – with little signs of urgency from the provincial government to address the situation.

We have variously attempted to work with former MEC for Health Dipuo Letsatsi, former MEC for Health Dr Norman Mabasa, former MEC for health Ishmael Kgetsepe, and with the current MEC for health Dr Phophi Ramathuba. We briefed and wrote to all of these MECs about medicines stockouts, the high vacancy rate of health professionals, poor emergency medical service response times, shortages of diagnostic equipment and services, and the very poor condition of many healthcare facilities.

The constant change of MECs for health in Limpopo is evidence of a serious lack of political leadership in the province. It also makes it hard for MECs to implement any plans. Often when one MEC for health makes commitments to TAC then they are replaced by another person and we are moved back to square one. In the end, it is our members and other users of the public healthcare system who pay the price for this lack of political leadership in the province.

As in other provinces, like the Free State, we fear that internal politics within the ruling party is standing in the way of fixing the healthcare system and improving the lives of the people on the ground. As TAC, we will organise our members on the ground and campaign against this lack of political leadership. Those in government or in the healthcare system must in the first place serve the people, not their political parties. We will hold the Limpopo government accountable at local, district and provincial level. When the local government elections come next year, we will ensure that the votes of our members and our communities are guided by the reality on the ground.

We fully support NEHAWU in their campaign against the severe dysfunction in the Limpopo public healthcare system. We invite all healthcare workers, individuals and organisation concerned with the plight of users of the public healthcare system to join us.


For media comment or for further information, please contact: Amukelani Maluleke {TAC Limpopo Provincial Coordinator} @072 592 9897 or email: