Sunday Times

A nurs­ing pro­posal to cure un­em­ploy­ment

Net­care pro­posal to fill va­can­cies to be raised at em­ploy­ment ind­aba

- By ASHA SPECKMAN and PENE­LOPE MASHEGO speck­mana@sun­day­ mashe­gop@sun­day­ Business · South Africa Politics · Unemployment · South Africa News · Society · African Politics · Politics · Employment · Belgium · Austria · Summit · Iceland · Steve Jobs · Belarus · Cyril Ramaphosa · Aaron Motsoaledi · General Motors Corporation · Arbeidersparty · Jacob Zuma · United Kingdom · United Arab Emirates · Australia · New Zealand · Saudi Arabia · Saudi Arabia national football team · Netcare

● A pro­posal to train and em­ploy 50,000 new nurses will be one of the flag­ship projects on the ta­ble at the gov­ern­ment’s Jobs Sum­mit that will be held in Midrand this week.

The two-day ini­tia­tive is look­ing for so­lu­tions to SA’s high un­em­ploy­ment rate, which is near the 30% mark. Busi­ness, labour and gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials are ex­pected to pore over pro­pos­als that in­clude job cre­ation op­por­tu­ni­ties in in­dus­tries such as agri­cul­ture.

The Jobs Sum­mit comes as Stats SA re­vealed this week that SA shed 69,000 jobs dur­ing the sec­ond quar­ter of 2018, when the econ­omy tipped into a re­ces­sion fol­low­ing two quar­ters of neg­a­tive eco­nomic growth.

The pro­posal to train and em­ploy new nurses em­anates from pri­vate hos­pi­tal group Net­care, which this week con­firmed that the con­cept would be tabled at the sum­mit con­vened by Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa.

The pri­vate sec­tor will pro­vide on-the-job train­ing over eight years if the project is pur­sued. SA is short of 47,000 nurses.

Ramaphosa an­nounced last week that he had in­structed health min­is­ter Aaron Mot­soaledi to ur­gently fill 2,200 nurs­ing va­can­cies as part of the gov­ern­ment’s R50bn eco­nomic re­cov­ery pack­age.

Net­care’s project was de­vel­oped in 2016 as part of the CEO Ini­tia­tive, which in­cluded youth un­em­ploy­ment as a fo­cus, when it sub­mit­ted a train­ing pro­posal to ad­dress the short­age of nurses by pro­vid­ing em­ploy­ment to 50,000 unem­ployed peo­ple.

“The pro­posal is based on a col­lab­o­ra­tive ap­proach be­tween gov­ern­ment, or­gan­ised labour, com­mu­nity and the pri­vate sec­tor, with all reg­u­la­tory bod­ies work­ing to­gether to achieve this much-needed out­come,” the com­pany said in a state­ment.

“It is en­vis­aged that, once fund­ing has been se­cured, this ini­tia­tive will be pro­vided at the cost of de­liv­er­ing such train­ing, with no profit or mar­gin built in.”

Nceba Ndzway­iba, GM of en­ter­prise and sup­plier de­vel­op­ment at Net­care, said: “We con­tem­plated a joint ini­tia­tive be­tween the gov­ern­ment and pri­vate sec­tor to achieve this.”

The project was pro­posed at the Na­tional Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment and Labour Coun­cil — a con­sul­ta­tive struc­ture for gov­ern­ment, busi­ness, labour and com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions — through Busi­ness Unity SA.

Ndzway­iba said the cost of such a project was “nu­anced — it’s not very sim­ple”.

He said there was a pool of unem­ployed nurses and the pri­vate sec­tor had va­can­cies to ab­sorb these nurses. “We needed to un­der­stand what are the chal­lenges and bar­ri­ers to get these nurses into em­ploy­ment.”

Prior re­search un­der­taken by the South African Nurs­ing Coun­cil also al­luded to co­horts of nurses and nurs­ing as­sis­tants who had qual­i­fied in the 2014/2015 pe­riod, with a

We con­tem­plate a joint ini­tia­tive be­tween the gov­ern­ment and pri­vate sec­tor Nceba Ndzway­iba GM of en­ter­prise and sup­plier de­vel­op­ment at Net­care

num­ber of them re­main­ing unem­ployed de­spite an indi­ca­tion from the health de­part­ment that there was a short­age in the pro­fes­sion.

These nurses would have to be taught ad­di­tional skills and nurses cur­rently reg­is­tered would also have to be ed­u­cated and pro­moted to be­come spe­cial­ist nurses.

An­other group of nurses were those trained by “fly-by-night” schools. These were not nec­es­sar­ily il­le­gal schools but those who emerged from them might re­quire proper train­ing. “We are say­ing those peo­ple are al­ready demon­strat­ing com­mit­ment to be in the pro­fes­sion,” Ndzway­iba said.

“We are hop­ing the fund­ing model would be in­formed by the so­lu­tion we fi­nally adopt.” He said the cost­ing model in the pub­lic and pri­vate health sec­tors and Se­tas was not stan­dard­ised.

The Demo­cratic Nurs­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tion of SA (Denosa) said it had been dis­ap­pointed by for­mer pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s un­der­tak­ing to fill nurs­ing va­can­cies and hoped Ramaphosa’s ef­forts would come to fruition. Zuma, in his 2011 state of the na­tion ad­dress, promised to re­vive closed nurs­ing col­leges within three years. “Which un­til to­day never saw light of day,” said Denosa spokesper­son Si­bongiseni Delih­lazo.

Denosa hoped the gov­ern­ment would re­open nurs­ing train­ing col­leges, Delih­lazo said. In 2015 the coun­try needed to pro­duce 11,000 pro­fes­sional nurses but col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties trained only 4,000 that year.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion said it took a long time for nurses who had re­tired or re­signed to be re­placed in the pub­lic sec­tor. “This leads to more frus­tra­tion and bot­tle­neck­ing in health care, where long queues are the order of the day. Putting a mora­to­rium on the ap­point­ment of crit­i­cal health-care pro­fes­sion­als by prov­inces was al­ways go­ing to put qual­ity health care into se­ri­ous trou­ble.”

SA has also lost many health-care pro­fes­sion­als to coun­tries such as the UK, United Arab Emi­rates, Aus­tralia, New Zealand and Saudi Ara­bia, where there is higher pay and bet­ter work­ing con­di­tions.

A busi­ness leader who at­tended a round­table dis­cus­sion be­tween Ramaphosa, busi­ness and labour rep­re­sen­ta­tives two weeks ago said other projects mooted for the Jobs Sum­mit dis­cus­sion in­cluded wa­ter in­fra­struc­ture at the mu­nic­i­pal level, which could cre­ate jobs.

“There are, un­der the eco­nomic sec­tor, quite a num­ber of pro­pos­als. If ev­ery­one does what they are meant to do there is po­ten­tial to cre­ate jobs.”

The busi­ness leader, who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity, said pro­pos­als “seem to be much more ini­tia­tive driven … It’s not these grand plans.”

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 ?? Pic­ture: Gallo Im­ages/Sowe­tan/Sandile Ndlovu ?? Nurses hold can­dles dur­ing In­ter­na­tional Nurses Day cel­e­bra­tions in Lim­popo.
Pic­ture: Gallo Im­ages/Sowe­tan/Sandile Ndlovu Nurses hold can­dles dur­ing In­ter­na­tional Nurses Day cel­e­bra­tions in Lim­popo.

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