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Treatment Action Campaign members spend night outside Gauteng Premier’s office in protest over collapsing healthcare system

Treatment Action Campaign members spend the night outside Premier David Makhura's office on 10 August 2021. (Photo: Anele Yawa / TAC)

The members of the Treatment Action Campaign say they are disappointed with Premier David Makhura and MEC for Health Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi over their lack of response to engage with them on their call to fix the Gauteng health system.

More than 70 Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) members on Wednesday spent the night outside Gauteng Premier David Makhura’s office, ahead of their Thursday 10am appointment with Gauteng Department of Health head Dr Sibongile Zungu and the premier’s adviser Dumisani Dakile.

The members of the TAC say they are disappointed with Makhura and MEC for Health Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi over their lack of response to engage with them on their call to fix the Gauteng health system. 

Lebohang Pitso, the provincial deputy chairperson of the TAC in Gauteng, said: “Facilities are congested and make it impossible to adhere to Covid-19 regulations, meaning the virus can spread like wildfire. But, above all, the medical help is substandard and inadequate, yet our call is being ignored by those with power to fix the probing issues. 

“The postponement of our appointments with the MEC and premier is a clear indicator of a lack of interest to listen to the concerns of TAC or provide any solutions. We will continue to sit and sleep here until they listen to us,” said Pisto.

Treatment Action Campaign members camping out overnight outside Premier David Makhura’s office in Johannesburg. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)
Treatment Action Campaign members outside Premier David Makhura’s office in Johannesburg. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)
Treatment Action Campaign members spent the night outside Premier David Makhura’s office in Johannesburg. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)

Addressing the TAC members, Dakile apologised on behalf of the MEC and premier for missing their appointment with the TAC on Tuesday. He committed himself and Zungu to an appointment with the TAC members on Thursday at 10am.

“I have engaged with the HOD [head of department]; she has committed to meet TAC tomorrow and I will be here with her to address the collective members of the campaign on the issues they have, as well as try to come up with possible solutions,” he said.

TAC chairperson Sibongile Tshabalala said that should the officials fail to arrive for this appointment, as they had done on previous occasions, TAC was resolute to continue camping outside the office of the premier.

“We don’t want them to just come and honour the appointment. We want concrete or written submissions from them stating how they are going to respond to all the issues that Treatment Action Campaign and partner organisations like Cancer Alliance and SECTION 27 have raised.” DM/MC

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