The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) condemns in the strongest words the latest armed attack on an ambulance on the N2 highway in Cape Town in which an 8 year old child who was being transported to the Red Cross Hospital died and the Emergency Medical Service (EMS) robbed of their personnel of their belongings
“FEDUSA is shocked to learn of this barbaric act by criminals who have no respect for life and sends its condolences to the family of the deceased,” said FEDUSA Secretary General Dennis George.
“These attacks have been increasing at an alarming rate where this year has seen several incidents reported in not just the Western Cape but also in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, Free State and Limpopo. In the case of the Western Cape, there were over 100 attacks in 2016 alone”.,
The Health and Other Services Personnel Trade Union of South Africa (Hospersa), an affiliate of FEDUSA in the region says it is considering withdrawing its service to put pressure on government to address the scourge of these attacks which are depriving community members of urgent medical attention when needed the most.
Hospersa has written open letter to the Western Cape Health Member of the Executive Council (MEC) about the issue while FEDUSA wrote a similar letter to the Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi.
“We were shunned and told that these attacks are not a health issue but are of a criminal nature but we will again write to the Minister to inform him of our members’ intention to possibly withdraw the service which would make the attacks on our members a health issue,” said Hospersa General Secretary Noel Desfontaines
The PSA, another FEDUSA affiliate in the region and a representative of thousands of EMS employees said those who are dedicated to serve people in distress have become soft targets for thugs.
“Society has degenerated to a state where there is no respect for any life. The senseless attack was not aimed at a cash-in-transit vehicle transporting millions of rand – it was an ambulance transporting a critically-injured eight-year-old patient to hospital,” said PSA Provincial Manager in the Western Cape, Koos Kruger.
“Whilst there is understanding for the fact that the conditions under which EMS staff render services are not always ideal or controllable, more must be done to decisively address the situation to prevent a collapse of public emergency-care services,” said Kruger.
FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry. See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.
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