An Mpumalanga nurse belonging to the South African Communist Part (SACP) has revealed that despite all efforts to curb racism and racial acts in various SA departments, subtle biases and stereotyping persist in the health department especially among the nurses.
Addressing 500 nurses who attended the celebration of International Nurses Day at Church on the Hill in KaMagugu near Mbombela on Thursday afternoon, SACP District Working Committee member Elizabeth Khoza called a large number of white nurses as pompous professionals who feel they are better than their black colleagues.
“I am here to talk about non-racialism,” she said as she urged the black nurses to free themselves from the oppressive claws of their white counterparts.
“They are unable to swallow their pride and sit with you to enjoy this day because some of them hold higher positions in the medical field. They are oppressing you people. Let us stand up and free ourselves,” said Khoza, to loud cheers,” she added.
Furious at the small number of white nurses in attendance to the event, Khoza added that black nurses were not enjoying democracy in the workplace and that unity was only a lip service that was not practiced in the nursing profession.
“Comrades, are we free in this democracy? We are not free comrades, because we do not get what we want. Before we get increment, we must fight; before you get a promotion, somewhere you have to pay under the table… We are working very hard so that we can able to be successful,” she said.
“We have the National Democratic Revolution and we talk about unity, we talk about non-racialism, we talk about sexism, we talk about democracy and we talk about prosperity. Are we united comrades. If we are not, we need to unite ourselves.
“The word Nyanza had a meaning that if we are united we can conquer, but if we are like this, we can’t. Let us sing one word, as workers; let us not sell each other as workers. Non-racialism? I only see blacks here. Do you see whites? Where are they? Few? How many?”.
We could recall that few months back, south African nurses called for the outright rejection of the white uniform synonymous with the profession for years.
The nurses, at that time, referred to the uniform as “a product of apartheid and held back transformation”. They therefore agreed to wear black as their new uniform as they continued to demand better pay and working conditions, and to remind elected public representatives of their “plight and suffering” from outside the confines of bargaining structures.
Meanwhile, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has revealed plans by the government to deal decisively with the issue of racism and xenophobia in the country
Reiterating that South Africa cannot be taken backward by some racist elements within society, Ramaphosa said Government is ready to break the back of racism completely.
He however urged South Africans to join hands with the government to see to the dead end of the menace in the society.
“…in order for us to build a united South Africa we must extend our hand, and work with various structures and organizations – and this we should do to provide leadership and to build the South Africa of our dreams. It is when we do this that we will be able to teach a lesson to those who still harbour racist notions, those who are still racist and those who want to classify black people as monkeys. We propose social cohesion by working with everybody”.