Pretoria – The frail and elderly patients at Huis Davidtz Retirement Home assumed the role of nurses, while they cleaned dishes and swept the floor, after yet another service disruption at the home.
Some did not receive their daily chronic medication, while others were cleaned and fed late.
One patient who has arthritis lay with a urine filled and unchanged diaper, which further gave the room a strong scent.
The person was one of many patients at the troubled centre in the CBD, who have been left unattended while staff, who have worked there for decades without work contracts, went on strike.
The issue of contracts date back to two decades ago with staff claiming they have worked at the home for more than 20 years without employment contracts.
They also made allegations of racism, the abuse of patients by management, being underpaid, and more.
In August, disgruntled nurses, volunteers, chefs and cleaners went on a three-day strike, led by the EFF with police keeping watch.
It came on the heels of another protest in March. Only four staff nurses are currently volunteering to look after more than 1000 patients but said they were barely coping.
One volunteer said she resorted to asking some of the patients to assist with duties.
One of the workers who has also downed tools said they feared the Life Esidimeni tragedy would repeat itself at the centre.
They vowed not to go back to work until something was done.
“We don’t want another Life Esidimeni incident here, but we also don’t have a choice because we want to see these issues get resolved.
The government if fully aware of what’s happening here but no one wants to assist us, so we are not going back to work until we get the help we need,” she said.
The Social Development MEC, Nandi Mayathula-Khoza, called for an urgent investigation into the home in August last year.
Mayathula-Khoza asked for a full report with solid evidence on all allegations labelled against the centre, which led to employees going on strike.
She asked for the report during her visit to the centre. She said she could only come up with an action plan to resolve the issues once a report has been compiled.
This report does not necessarily reflects the opinion of SA-news.