patients Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital

(Photo by Gallo Images/Sharon Seretlo)

Gauteng Health Department responds to reports of nurses not being paid

Acting MEC for Health in Gauteng Jacob Mamabolo has assured COVID-19 contract nurses that they will be paid their outstanding salaries.

patients Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital

(Photo by Gallo Images/Sharon Seretlo)

Acting MEC for Health Jacob Mamabolo has assured nurses, who were appointed on COVID-19 contracts, that their salaries will be processed by the end of August 2020. 

Mamabolo took the decision after reports surfaced over the weekend alleging that at least 80 COVID-19 contract nurses at Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital had not been paid their July salaries. 

This comes at a time when frontline healthcare workers are, on a daily basis, risking their lives to treat COVID-19 patients. 


Mamabolo has since directed the department to compile a consolidated report on COVID-19 human resource-related issues at all facilities by the end of this week to ensure that health workers are not inconvenienced any further. 

The Gauteng Department of Health (GDoH) has appointed over 681 nurses during this financial year to augment its workforce as part of the COVID-19 response in the province. A total of R500 million has been budgeted for contracting various categories of workers across all institutions, inclusive of all categories of nurses. 

“It is simply unacceptable that workers are not paid. We cannot expect frontline workers to lead the fight against the coronavirus, while on the other hand, we are letting them down in terms of their remuneration,” said Mamabolo. 


In April, the Gauteng province spoke of payment delays to healthcare workers, including nurses, which points to the fact that this has been an ongoing problem. 

An internal memo addressed to healthcare workers read: 

“This is to inform you that due to COVID-19 lockdown our E-Gov Department has experienced some delays in the processing of some allowances; Basic salary commuted overtime and sessional claims. Kindly notify your creditors of this potential delay for the months of April and May 2020.”

Gauteng Health MEC at the time, Bandile Masuku, was outraged. He too said it was completely unacceptable and that the department would work to make sure nurses are paid.

“I was informed about this correspondence actually. Our officials are failing us and this is disappointing. We are sorting the matter out and those who [are] liable, are going to be made to account. It is unacceptable. I’m gutted but we are working on it to get the majority of payments processed,” he said. 

Masuku has since been suspended from his duties following reports of PPE tender corruption. Spokesperson to the President Khusela Diko and her husband Madzikane Thandisizwe were also implicated.