By Dumisile Masuku
Academic activities at the Mmabatho College of Nursing in the North West are set to resume following a two-week strike over living conditions.
The illegal strike, which started at the Mmabatho-based college on 29 August, forced provincial health MEC Magome Masike to close the college indefinitely.
"A high level meeting between provincial health department head Dr Mokhethi Radebe, the Student Representative Council (SRC) and various role players was held on Monday where it was decided that the college would again be opened and classes resumed," said department spokesman Tebogo Lekgethwane.
Lekgethwane said the nursing students at the college barricaded the main entrance with mattresses and stones when the strike started.
"They demanded that the department improve their accommodation," he said.
About 500 striking student nurses were given until 8 September to vacate the college and also stood to forfeit their monthly stipends.
Despite visiting the college on 7 September to listen to the students' concerns and to deliberate with the SRC, MEC Masike failed to convince them to return to classes while their demands were being attended to.
Department head Dr Radebe then met with the SRC and various role players, where an agreement was made to end the strike.
"Though the department has plans to construct a new nursing college to the tune of R300 million which will automatically resolve a number of demands raised by students, yesterday's meeting resolved on the establishment of a task team to investigate and provide recommendations on issues like maintenance, kitchen hours and student accommodation," said Lekgethwane.
The department said it remained committed to the culture of learning with a view to educate and produce future nurses. - SAnews.gov.za
What do you think?
Is government trying to appease these nursing students or will this new college deliver on its promises?