patients Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital

(Photo by Gallo Images/Sharon Seretlo)

DA to nominate SA healthcare workers for 2022 Nobel Peace Prize

The DA says Ramaphosa insulted SA healthcare workers when he said Cabinet approved the nomination of the Cuban Medical Brigade for a Nobel Peace Prize.

patients Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital

(Photo by Gallo Images/Sharon Seretlo)

The Democratic Alliance (DA) will nominate South African healthcare workers for the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize – this after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that Cabinet nominated the Cuban Medical Brigade for the year 2021. Since the announcement on Wednesday night, there has been some serious outrage from politicians and political parties as to why SA’s healthcare workers, who have dedicated so much, were overlooked so to speak. 

While the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and Herman Mashaba were among those to air their views, the DA has taken nominations into its own hands. 


DA Shadow Minister of Health Siviwe Gwarube said no one will ever argue that we cannot express gratitude to international partners who have assisted the country in this journey, however, it cannot be done by “overlooking the monumental sacrifice done by our healthcare workers under impossible conditions.”

The DA will, therefore, submit its own application to the Nobel Foundation for consideration for 2022 since this year’s nominations have closed. The motivation for this nomination will be clear:

  • South African healthcare workers have been fighting valiantly against this pandemic in the front lines for almost a year next month;
  • This has been done under difficult circumstances of a broken health system that is characterized by staff shortages, inadequate infrastructure and poor governance systems in many provinces;
  • Many healthcare workers have not received a salary increase due to the fiscal cliff South Africa finds itself in as a direct result of poor management of the economy;
  • Many were scrambling for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic while government struggled to secure supplies to protect them;
  • Hundreds of healthcare workers have lost their lives to this virus while selflessly serving their country and thousands have been infected and still went back to serve on the frontlines; and 
  • Healthcare workers are still working tirelessly through the various peaks of infections at a great personal cost to them even in the face of a sluggish vaccine rollout programme from their government.

“It is unthinkable that this great sacrifice would be ignored and there would be disproportionate recognition given to the Cuban Medical Brigade which was contracted to South Africa at the tune of almost R240 million for a year,” said Gwarube. 

“According to the statutes of the Nobel Foundation members of national assemblies may nominate those deserving of this great recognition. We are of the view that all healthcare workers can be grouped together as has been done in the past to have this prestigious award given to them from a country that could never mount a decent response to this pandemic were it not for them,” added Gwarube. 


On Monday evening during his national address, he said he wished to recognise the selfless and unwavering assistance of the government and people of Cuba. 

“In recognition of this effort, Cabinet has approved a proposal to nominate the Cuban Medical Brigade – for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize. We extend our sincerest gratitude to the people of Cuba for this great demonstration of solidarity,” he said. 

The IFP responded saying; 

“Indeed, it is regrettable that the president has overlooked thanking our own health-care workers in favour of praising Cuban doctors — while our health-care workers have had to endure the brutal brunt of serving on the front lines in our hospitals and clinics.”

Herman Mashaba said the following; 

“I, Herman Mashaba, a citizen of the Republic of South Africa, nominate our very own South African Frontline Doctors, Nurses & Ancillary Workers for the Nobel Peace Prize, instead of Cubans Doctors – as proposed by the presidency.”