Student nurses in Port Elizabeth are being locked out of lectures at the Dora Nginza-campus of the Lilitha College if they don’t wear uniforms. This contravenes the agreement between Lilitha College and the Department of Health, that nursing students may wear their “mufti” (casual clothes) for classes and uniforms when performing clinical duties.
No student should be denied the opportunity of attending lectures and receiving the education they need to further their careers.
I have asked legislature questions to the MEC for Health, Dr. Phumza Dyantyi, as to the exact stipulations of the contract between her department and Lilitha College and whether students have to pay for their uniforms, or whether they receive uniform allowances, as in the past.
If, indeed, students have to buy their own uniforms, the MEC must clarify why this is the case, when the uniform allowance was stopped and for what reasons, and where the funds for this allowance have been channelled to.
Today’s strike action by the student nurses at the Dora Nginza-campus could spread to other campuses if this issue becomes a major grievance across the province. We cannot allow the education of much needed nurses in the province be compromised in any way. The DA will be keeping a close eye on developments.