A proposal to rename the medical school after struggle activist Sefako Makgatho as well as allegedly lazy teachers were some of the reasons cited for the student strike action. However, Tshwane nongovernmental organisations say that the strike disrupted services to the community as student trainees in areas like psychology, physiotherapy and pharmacy did not report for clinic duty.
“The strike really disturbed our support group for children infected and affected by HIV,” said Agnes Seanego, manger of Vukani Aftercare Centre in New Eersterus township near Hammanskraal. “(The group) is co-facilitated by our auxiliary social worker and a student psychologists from Medunsa and the children were starting bond (with the students).
Local clinic pharmacies may have also lost some helping hands during the strike as student pharmacists were left without transport.
“There was nothing that we could do because we relied on the transport from the university in order to make the visits,” said Elliot Moloantoa, a pharmacy student who works at the K T Motubatse Community Health Clinic. “We really love serving the patients, but also believe that the strike was for a good cause and absolutely support it”.
Wheelchair-bound Zacharia Maluleka told OurHealth that he arrived at Winterveld’s Kgabo Clinic only to find that his appointment had been cancelled after student physiotherapists were not able to get to the clinic.