EFF targets frail care over discrimination

FIGHT FOR JUSTICE: Members of the EFF BCM Region picketed outside Kennersley Park Frail Care and Retirement Village last week in protest against alleged discrimination against the centre’s workers. Pictures: ALAN EASON

Kennersley Park Frail Care and Retirement Centre has recently been embroiled in controversy after a worker accused management of suspending her because of her positive HIV status.

More than 100 members of the EFF BCM region embarked on a picket outside the retirement home on Thursday, June 8, to address the alleged discrimination and racism that the head matron has been accused of.

The suspended worker, Nomthandazo Mateane claims the head matron discriminated against her based on her status and made it difficult for her to access her clinic visits scheduled during the day.

“I have always worked the night shift because I go to my clinic visits without disturbing my work schedule.

“The new matron refused to let me work the night shift without a doctor’s letter to say that I am fit to work. After 13 years of working, I was suspended because of my HIV status. This is discrimination.

“I am hurt and angry because this new matron does not treat us right,” she said.

According to some of the other workers, the new matron treats them with disrespect and allegedly uses language with racist undertones directed at members of staff.

While no official complaints have been filed, management is aware of the concerns.

Kennersley Park general manager, Laurette Schaefer, said the matter was under investigation.

“We do not take these allegations lightly.

“We can confirm that the worker was not suspended because of her HIV status.

“There are other issues that were raised including behaviour and conduct in the workplace that lead to her suspension.

“We do not condone racism or discrimination in any form and we are investigating.

“I believe that there has been a communication breakdown between staff and management

The Labour Guide is an organisation that provides information, articles and resources regarding labour law and health and safety training in workplaces across SA.

In an article titled “Code of good practice on aspects of HIV/Aids employment”, it states that all people with HIV or Aids have the legal right to privacy and are not legally required to disclose their HIV status to their employers.

It also states that employees with HIV/Aids may not be dismissed solely on the basis of their HIV status.


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