Community members from Rabokala village near Brits say they marched to the municipal building to show South Africans that they too are human beings and their rights deserve to be respected. Dozens of community members marched on the 12th of December 2016 to the Local Municipality of Madibeng to add on their long list of demands the shortage of nurses in their local clinic.They engaged on a peaceful march waving posters and plackets indicating few of their demands. The march came after the community had a month ago a demonstration regarding shortage of water. They barricaded the roads and demanded that the ward councillor must avail herself to the community to address the water issue. They also said that eversince she was elected as ward councillor, less has been done in the village and therefore they need answers.
On the 12th of December, the community grouped themselves and submitted a memorandum of demands which among other things they prioritised health care. A woman, who has been a nurse for 24 years, says she knows the frustration of today’s march and added that the community feel as if the nurses are not doing enough. It is good that today the community added the demand on their list. “I believe they are trying to show the government that the clinic has too little staff and therefore they need more healthworkers. South Africans need to know that nurses care about the community,” she said. The nurses work long hours, sometimes you don’t even eat your lunch, so it’s difficult yet we are trying to manage the situation.
These men and women attend to thousands of patients every month and say they hope they will be more respected by their communities. Statistics show that from January last year to date, at least 65 healthworkers were assaulted while performing their duties. A disturbed factor is nurses who are either verbally or even physically aggressive towards their patients.