ambulanceThe Citizen reports that Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku said his department was hoping to put Johannesburg emergency workers under the auspices of the provincial government by January next year.  

This was indicated even as suspended firefighters working for Emergency Management Services (EMS) in the city were in the throes of a legal battle with their employer.  Firefighters claim their allegedly unprotected strike earlier this year was justified because they were being forced to break regulations and the law by attending to emergencies without supervisors and in poorly manned vehicles.  Masuku conducted ‘ride-alongs’ with provincial emergency workers at the weekend, after which he said he was “satisfied” with the resources and the quality of the services provided by the emergency personnel.  He said as far as provincial emergency workers were concerned, he had observed little to complain about.  But he added that he was aware of issues facing the City of Joburg and those as raised by the union and commented further that:  “I think the situation [in Joburg] pertains to a difference context altogether in terms of Gauteng EMS and it is for this reason we want to provincialise the EMS, so we are able to give them similar treatment and level of competency.”  But, the SA Municipal Workers’ Union suggested the issues facing emergency services personnel in the province were politically motivated.

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