Africa-Press – South-Africa. The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) Student Movement is set to embark on a March on November 25.
Denosa will be marching in the streets of Tshwane to deliver its memoranda of grievances to the nursing regulatory body, the South African Nursing Council (SANC), and the Chief Nursing Officer.
In a statement, the student movement said it would be marching to express unhappiness over the challenges experienced by nursing students and nurses in general regarding nursing education and to have SANC and Council for Higher Education (CHE) make a commitment to address them.
Some of the few issues of concern and demands include the Personal and Salary System (PERSAL), which was replaced by the bursary system.
“Since the implementation of the bursary system, student nurses are no longer catered for in many of their requirements for training. The bursary has since been taken away from students in several universities in the country, and NSFAS does not address all the needs of a nursing student looking at the nature of their programme. Student nurses need practice equipment, uniform, transport, safety benefits and acknowledgement for assisting in the short-staffed facilities,” said the student movement.
According to the student movement, the reinstatement of the PERSAL system is inevitable.
“Student nurses will benefit from pension funds, medical aid subsidy, remuneration for working on weekends, and a monthly stipend as provided by the PERSAL system. The PERSAL system was working, and there was no reason to remove it.”
The student movement said it is not fair to see nursing students in universities sleeping in libraries without food and accommodation, and most of the accommodation that is provided to the nursing student is not conducive, this includes the computer labs.
“Nursing colleges’ infrastructure and student residences have been in bad condition for a very long time. If one must enter a student residence in most colleges and hospitals, you are guaranteed to be met with a foul smell of sewage and unsafe structures that are not well-maintained. In the North West, students are placed in various scattered accommodations around towns because the colleges and universities do not have facilities to accommodate students.
“Computer labs can’t cater for all students, and there is no internet connectivity in most institutions. In fact, nursing education has not developed enough to compete at any fourth Industrial revolution (4IR) level,” it said.
The student movement said that after the one-year contract and qualifying as professional nurses, many nurses had been sent home without employment. They said the department must disclose whether it is going to employ nurses after completing community service.
“It is not fair that every year nurses must have a sit-in and march to force the government to keep its promise. This phenomenon of not employing nurses came with the introduction of the bursary system. With the shortage of nurses in the country, it doesn’t make sense why this matter is not addressed because the government produces nurses every year.”
Denosa blamed the implementation of the new nursing curriculum, and they say they are prepared to fight until they get what they want.