Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa should have anticipated yesterday’s violence at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital and put in extra security to prevent it happening.
There were signs earlier in the week that violence by disgruntled workers was brewing, which included tyre burning and blocked entrances on Wednesday.
Police should surely have been on standby at the hospital on Thursday as it was likely the violence would intensify.
And once again, Premier David Makhura’s much-vaunted war room failed to pick up clear warning signs and intervene early both to address the worker grievances and to prevent further vandalism at the hospital.
Following the trashing of the hospital at the end of April, Makhura made promises that workers would receive their bonus pay, but the delay in doing this led to the deplorable disruption this week.
Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi now calls for the hooligans to be arrested, but why did this not happen after the previous vandalization?
The Gauteng Health Department has handled this whole matter poorly – they need to settle worker grievances speedily and fairly, and also ensure that hospitals are able to provide their essential service at all times.