Withdraw low-quality masks or face legal action warns Nehawu

Withdraw low-quality masks or face legal action, warns Nehawu

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) has threatened the government with legal action over the quality of face masks. 

Face mask

The union wants government to withdraw what it calls the low quality N95 masks given to healthcare workers.

Nehawu says that it will join its sister union the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) in taking legal action if government does not take immediate action.


The statement by Nehawu follows Friday’s announcement by Health Minister Zweli Mkhize of a new variant of Covid-19 in the country.


“Unfortunately, this announcement arrives while we are faced with the revelation that the N95 masks that are being used by our members and workers to protect themselves from Covid-19 infections have failed safety tests,” says spokesperson Khaya Xaba. 

ALSO READ: SA surges past 900k Covid-19 cases


“We call on the government and the Department of Health to recall all the poor quality masks and ensure that workers are given sufficient and quality PPEs.”


Since the beginning of the pandemic over 38 000 health workers in the public sector have been diagnosed with Covid-19.


At least 391 fatalities have also been recorded as a result of the virus. 


Xaba says that suppliers who provide sub-par PPEs should be brought to book.


“Suppliers must be thoroughly screened and those found to be guilty of poor workmanship must be blacklisted and made to pay a fine.”


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