DA calls for attention on nursing college campuses

SEKHUKHUNE – The Democratic Alliance in Limpopo is calling for a scrutiny into a plethora of issues at the Limpopo College of Nursing.

The DA last month said it would write to the Limpopo Health MEC, Dr Phophi Ramathuba, to give clarity on plans to address the issues at the college.

The party indicated that the nursing college has five campuses in the province, namely Sekhukhune, Sovenga, Thohoyandou, Waterberg and Giyani and that they all have some overwhelming common challenges.

According to the DA the college’s campuses have not had an intake of new students on the 3 year and 4 year diploma programme since 2019 due to the department’s financial constraints. It said that failure to enroll nursing students was despite a crippling nursing staff shortage in the province.

Risham Maharaj, DA Limpopo spokesperson on health, said the large number of vacant posts within the college also remained a great challenge and indicated that the position of principal at the college has been vacant since 2013.

Maharaj added that there were other 16 Head of Discipline (HOD) posts that were vacant for periods ranging from one to five years and that it was clear that mismanagement by the department has left a leadership vacuum in the college.

He informed that there were no drivers in all college campuses and in most cases the campus managers improvised. There is also shortage of staff in finance, human resource, supply chain and procurement.

“In all campuses, more than 75 percent of the budget goes towards compensation of employees and that leaves no funds for goods and services as well as maintenance. As a result, the libraries in the campuses are not well equipped and in addition, the campuses do not have well-functioning internet connectivity. The poor maintenance has also led to leaking pipes, broken windows, and unkept surroundings,” said Maharaj.

The party called on Ramathuba and her department to address the vacant senior management posts and increase funding to the college in order to ensure efficient operation.

Thapelo Motseo

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