Members of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers (NEHAWU) union are planning a nationwide strike on Friday, August 28, over salaries and alleged inaction by the government to protect healthcare employees during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Reports indicate that participants are demanding adequate and improved health and safety working conditions in hospitals and medical facilities, including sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE). Union members staged protests on Friday, August 21, outside the National Health Laboratory Services in Johannesburg and outside the Somerset Hospital in Cape Town. Media sources indicate that they plan to continue demonstrations from Tuesday, August 25, through to Friday ahead of Friday's strike.
Further associated demonstrations are possible in the coming days in urban centers across the country. Localized travel disruption and a heightened security presence should also be expected in the vicinity of all protests. Disruption to health services should be anticipated.
Those in South Africa are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all demonstrations as a precaution, anticipate potential disruption to the provision of medical services, and confirm medical appointments.
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