Friday, 19 July, 2024
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Pharmacy graduates jobless after department's contract fiasco

Eastern Cape pharmacy assistant graduates – who signed contracts to start working for the provincial Health Department in August – were told their appointments were “erroneous” and unauthorised, and sent home.

Several had resigned from previous jobs and are now jobless after being turned away when they arrived to start work for the first day in their new positions.

Twelve pharmacy assistant graduates had been appointed as intern basic pharmacy assistants on one-year contracts, which they had signed and returned.

Zanele Maqoko had resigned from her previous job to start her new career after signing the contract, the Daily Dispatch reports, which told her to report for duty in August 2023. The end date was 30 June 2024.

“After signing the contracts in July, we were told to expect a phone call telling us where we would be allocated within the district’s clinics.

“We waited until last week before sending an email inquiring about further arrangements, but got no response. On 1 September, we decided to go to their building, hoping for guidance.”

There, a department official told them only six of the 12 would be hired.

Funiswa Tendana is one of the disappointed candidates, who said she had been having sleepless nights over the fiasco.

She said they were told that only those who had done in-service training with the department would be hired.

“I do not understand why they would let us sign contracts when they had their own specified requirements.

“They have seen our CVs, which stated our employment backgrounds.

“I resigned from my previous job, thinking I was going to a new position with a better salary. I am now unemployed.”

The Dispatch has seen the contracts, signed by the candidates, district manager and two witnesses.

Health Department spokesperson Mkhululi Ndamase said the process of employing the post-basic pharmacist assistants on the internship programme had not yet been finalised.

“Some applicants were erroneously given contracts before approval was obtained.

“The department will investigate how this happened, as no one was authorised to issue any contracts to applicants. We are asking for patience as the recruitment processes unfold.”

Employment & Labour Department provincial spokesperson Ziphozihle Josefu said the matter should be referred to the CCMA for intervention.


DispatchLIVE article – Health graduates without jobs after contract fiasco (Restricted access)


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