Gauteng health department fails to pay medical interns

Bureaucratic bungle leaves new doctors fearing the worst about working in public hospitals.

Newly graduated doctors who just started their internships at Gauteng government hospitals have not been paid their January salaries as a result of a technical glitch, according to the health department.

Medical interns at hospitals in Gauteng could only expect to be paid in February, the Gauteng Department of Health announced this week.

In a statement released on Thursday, January 31, the Head of the Department Mkhululi Lukhele said, “There was a delay in the creation of the post due to the additional interns and community service that Gauteng Department of Health requested to accommodate.

“Despite the shortcomings as stated above, the Head of Department has arranged for additional supplementary payment runs to accommodate appointments that would be delayed.”

Medical interns took to social media this past week to share their grievances and to plead for assistance.

Wits graduate Rhadika Patel, who began her medical internship this year at Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital, said that the lack of communication surrounding the issue was frustrating.

“HR hasn’t told us anything. We had no idea until earlier this week that we were not going to get paid. They say the issue is that we haven’t been logged onto the system, but it has been a month now,” she said.

Patel and other interns have contacted the South African Medical Association (SAMA) and say that they have received feedback.

In a communique shared with the nearly 50 interns at Charlotte Maxeke, SAMA expressed concern and informed the interns that after speaking to the Director-General of Health they would be paid by Friday, February 1.

“SAMA further made contact with Provincial Heads of Department to ascertain as to whether payment will indeed be effected and received an affirmation in that regard that payment will be made timeously,” the statement read.

Patel told Wits Vuvuzela that it has been difficult for these interns to begin their lives after varsity because of this delay.

“Especially for those who have had to move towns. Making the jump from student to intern is very difficult, there are so many new expenses. As well, January is a very tough month because you just come out of the festive period. So it is really frustrating because a lot of people have to pay for rent and transport expenses,” Patel added.

FEATURED IMAGE: Medical graduates have had a financially challenging start to their internships. Photo: Tshego Mokgabudi

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Bidvest Wits thumped by Wits Football Club

New Witsies introduced to the university’s sporting culture with the Pride All Star Game.

First-year Witsies were treated to some exceptional football as Wits Football Club thrashed a weakened Bidvest Wits side by four goals to nil at the Bidvest Stadium on Wednesday, January 30, in the Wits Pride All Star Game.

The Educated Footballers were in full strength in front of an eager Wits crowd, predominantly of first years, which was treated to performances from musicians, Busiswa and ZuluMkhatini, under the scorching midday sun.

On the opposite side was a weakened Clever Boys side, comprised of players from MultiChoice Diski Challenge side, who never quite settled into the friendly encounter.

Wits Football took an early lead with a Mahle Mtabane goal before captain Tshireletso Motsogi doubled the score with a headed goal from a well-delivered corner just before the break.

The second half started in similar fashion with Kurt Pienaar punishing a sloppy Bidvest defence after latching onto a through-ball and rounding the keeper before slotting the ball away to make it three.

The victory was sealed when Clinton Mphahlele beat two defenders and finessed the ball into the corner to the enjoyment of first-year Witsies who were evidently supporting the university side.

Motsogi was disappointed to not be playing in this year’s Varsity Football tournament after losing to the Tshwane University of Technology in last years’ final and failing to qualify in the University Sports South Africa (USSA) tournament last year but believed this season would allow the team to rebuild.

“Varsity football is one of the biggest tournaments for us so missing out on it takes a huge toll on us. But we have to keep pushing and hope that we win USSA the make it through.

Second-year BAccSci student, Kyran Jugdharee, shared his thoughts on the match from the grandstand, saying, “The game is going well. The halftime performances really got me hyped up. I’m just really enjoying watching the sport I love. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”

Daniel Badenhorst, a first-year BEng student, who was watching both teams live for the first time said that the encounter was a great way to show the first years about football at the university.

“The game was great. I liked the atmosphere. I enjoyed the dancing and the music. It was very engaging. It was a great activity for first years to get into the Wits culture as well as meet new people. It was a great experience.”

FEATURED IMAGE: Captain Tshireletso Motsogi dominates the centre of the park as the Educated Footballers show the Clever Boys who is the real boss of Wits.    Photo: Tshego Mokgabudi


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Movie review: Matwetwe

By Onke Ngcuka

Cast: Anastasia Augustus, Lungile Cindi, Mbeko Cindi, Karabo Dikolomela, Neo Erasmus, Sibusiso Khwinana, Kgomotso Lediga, Mimi Mamabolo

Director: Kagiso Lediga

Genre: Comedy

Vuvu rating: 6.5/10

Do what is necessary to afford yourself a better life. This is the message that is humorously highlighted by director Kagiso Lediga in his film, Matwetwe (Wizard), which was released in 17 South African cinemas on Friday, January 25.

The movie tells the story of two best friends, Lefa (Sibusiso Khwinana) and Papi (Tebatso Mashishi) that have just matriculated. The comedy follows the best friends on New Year’s Eve in their township, Atteridgeville, as they try and make money from the weed that they grow, which they name ‘Matwetwe’.

Lefa, the reserved one of the two, has been accepted into Wits University to study botany, an achievement highly celebrated by the community. Papi on the other hand, who considers himself a ladies’ man – a fact true only to himself – hopes to make a quick buck here and there to spend on the “good life” – the ladies and alcohol.

Narrated by three township dwellers, the movie invites the audience along the hilarious adventure of the two young men as they come across several kasi characters, including murderers, the township’s ‘mad man’ and the gangsters trying to get their hands onto the boys’ product.

Lediga, who also wrote the movie, does a great job on the character sketches as they bring the township to life, and give the audience greater insight into kasi culture. While the movie did well on the character sketches, this was at the expense of the storyline which fell short.

The comedic talent of Lediga shines bright in the comedy as it uplifts the difficulties of transitioning into adulthood faced by the boys as they reach out towards independence. The young men’s relationship strengthens as they face challenges in selling their product, however, Lefa’s secret threatens this friendship, resulting in an unexpected turn of events.

The film came under fire on social media in the week of its premier for the lack of advertising from its executive producer and international DJ, Black Coffee. Regardless, the film did well in cinemas on its opening weekend January 25-27, as it came fourth at the South African box office, according to Screen Africa.  

Matwetwe is a good South African comedy. It isn’t great, but highlights that local is lekker. The film has been screened in the US at Urban World, the biggest genre festival in the US, Fantastic Festival, and International Film Festival Rotterdam in Europe. Matwetwe is expected to screen at more cinemas across the country.

FEATURED IMAGE: Matwetwe tells the story of two young men seeking to make better lives for themselves. Photo: Onke Ngcuka

Wits has no emergency accommodation – Dean of Students

Students without res accommodation have to look elsewhere.

By Onke Ngcuka

Wits students that did not get into res cannot count on
emergency accommodation from the university.

Esselen and Witwaters residence which were made available as
emergency accommodation in 2018 are not available in 2019.

Dean of Students Jerome September told Wits Vuvuzela that Esselen was no longer a Wits residence as of 2019.

“In 2018, the repurposing of Esselen was put on hold to
assist the university with emergency accommodation on a temporary basis. All
students initially allocated to Esselen were moved out in June 2018, and the
repurposing project continued,” September said.

The dean said that Esselen now belonged to the Wits
Reproductive Health Institute and functioned as a research centre. The
Witwaters residence belongs to the Gauteng provincial government and houses nursing
students.

Student Representative Council (SRC) president Sisanda
Mbolekwa told Wits Vuvuzela that as
the SRC, they were told by the university that the opening of the emergency
residences in 2018 was a once-off deal.

“Wits does not have infrastructure. A way forward would be
to raise funds to pay for a building or pay someone that has beds. Braamfontein
is surrounded by so many buildings,” Mbolekwa said.

First-year BEd student, Morongwa Rankoane, who is from
Lesifo, Limpopo, told Wits Vuvuzela
that she had applied for accommodation in a student residence in June 2018 but
was told that there was no space.

“I tried applying for emergency accommodation on Wednesday,
January 23. There were people assisting us that took my details and said they
would get back to me by Thursday, January 24. I didn’t receive a response so
that is why I came in today (January 25),” she said.

Rankoane said that she had tried looking for the accommodation
in Braamfontein but was told that she needed to present a letter of approval.

“I applied for the Funza Lushaka Bursary Scheme and was told
by the bursar that I would only receive the letter of approval in February/March.
I was able to register by waivering the registration fee,” she said.  

September said that the Wits Hardship Fund assisted students with funding towards accommodation. Applications for the Wits Hardship Fund closed on January 24.

FEATURED PHOTO: Esselen Residence will be used as a research centre by the
Wits Reproductive Health Institute and will no longer be available as emergency accomodation. Photo: File.

Tshimologong and partners tackle youth unemployment

 

New partnership for Tshimologong encourages digital skills development

 

By Onke Ngcuka 

 

Five innovation hubs, including Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precint, have joined hands to tackle unemployment and the lack of skills development within the digital sphere among the youth. 

The partnership with Tshimologong, WeThinkCode, Cape Innovation & Technological Initiative, Joburg Centre for Software Engineering was facilitated by the youth employment accelerator, Harambee. 

According to a media statement from Harambee, the programme aims to increase digital and technological skills. The partners aim to create new pathways through alternative and affordable means of gaining a qualification without the need to go to university. They will also develop internationally accepted assessments in order to pair learners with fitting potential tech jobs.  

CEO of Tshimologong Lesley Williams told Wits Vuvuzela that the partnership is an ecosystem for digital job creation. 

“Everyone is speaking of the Fourth Industrial Revolution but not everyone has the capability to get there…. Something like job creation, you can’t do in isolation. What we decided to do was to come together and each contribute our key strengths.”   

She added, “What the partnership brings is that we learn from each other’s strengths and we can implement that among each other.” 

Projects manager at Harambee, Julia Taylor, told Wits Vuvuzela that in their search for partnerships, they were looking for demand-driven organisations to meet the needs of the market. 

“We look for partners addressing inclusivity and those that are addressing the people excluded from the formal sector,” Taylor said. “We want to ensure that the learners come out with holistic skills. We’re sharing and learning from each other.”   

Tshidiso Radinne, a former Wits student and innovator at Tshimologong told Wits Vuvuzela that a holistic approach within the digital space is a much needed development. 

“It’s becoming less about the tech and more about the communication skills; how you engage, proposition to the clients, articulating yourself, building a network, corporate governance. All the things that used to be less important are becoming more important,” the 28-year-old said. 

The minimum requirement for the programme is a matric certificate. An assessment is also required. The partnerships aim to have 5 000 youth trainees and hopefully surpass that.

Applicants can sign up at https://www.harambee.mobi/ to hear more about the programme from the different partnerships.   

 

 

FEATURED PHOTO: The Tshimologong Digital Innovation Hub where a new approach to digital and technological skills development will take place. Photo: Onke Ngcuka