The North West Department of Health has decided to indefinitely close the Mmabatho College of Nursing, following nursing students? refusal to end a two-week long illegal strike.
Students were given until Saturday to vacate the college; however they refused and continued striking. The students have also forfeited their monthly stipend due to strike action.
According to the department, problems at the college started on 29 August 2012, when students barricaded the main entrance with mattresses and stones, demanding the department to end the bursary system and improve their accommodation.
In response to the complaints, Health MEC, Dr Magome Masike visited the college on 3 September 2012 to listen to students concern, where he also explained to them that not all students were on bursary contracts since it was implemented in 2010, noting that the students who were enrolled at the college before the implementation of the bursary contract were not affected by this.
"They will remain on persal until their contracts expire because, by law, their contracts cannot be changed,' Dr Masike said.
On insufficient accommodation, Dr Masike said that currently, the college has 150 units for residential accommodation at the college, which can accommodate 300 learners, sharing.
During examination time, additional accommodation has been made around Mafikeng to accommodate an additional number that cannot be housed within the residence.
"At clinical facilities there is no accommodation, except for Job Shimankana Tabane, where 20 learners can be accommodated. MMACON has leased accommodation to ensure that the learners are as close as possible to the venues, unfortunately, the learners are against sharing,' Masike explained, adding that the challenge of sharing experienced by the learners will in the near future be addressed by the revitalization of the Nursing Education Institutions.
During deliberations with Student Representative Council, Masike appealed to students to return to classes, while he attends to their demands, however, his request felt into deaf ears.
Masike also visited the college to ensure that students were in class and to also respond to their demands, but students refused and also ignored a call to return to classes, Masike then decided to indefinitely close the college. - SAnews.gov.za
What do you think?
Are South Africans abusing their right to strike? Are strikes an effective form of negotiation?