The Leader of Government Business in Parliament Ziyambi Ziyambi on Wednesday claimed that only a few doctors and nurses were on strike.
Public health workers at major hospitals have been on strike since Monday, demanding that their salaries should be paid in United States dollars.
In Parliament, opposition MP Sipho Mokone demanded to know what the Government was doing to end the strike. She said:
Minister, on Monday we saw the nurses and doctors downing tools, which means that no one can access healthcare right now in Government hospitals.
The situation is very bad, especially for the expectant mother because there is no one who is there to assist the woman when she is due to give birth.
Ziyambi denied claims by MPs that the strike had paralysed the country’s healthcare sector, saying only a handful of nurses and doctors are on strike.
He also ruled out the government giving in to demands by the workers for US dollar salaries. Ziyambi said:
It is not very correct that the majority of them were on strike, it is only a few who were on strike yesterday or the day before and they have been advised that negotiations for a salary increase are ongoing and they must go back to their stations.
We are working towards removing whatever factors are influencing the decline of our currency.
However, we cannot and will not determine salaries on the basis of the USD.
We will work around improving our economy and strengthening our currency but will never go to a scenario where we peg salaries using the USD.