The Gauteng health department has moved to defuse tension with unions, which led to last week’s violent protests at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital, by undertaking to pay outstanding staff bonuses by the end of June. Unpaid bonuses for 2016-17 were the trigger for last Thursday’s violent disruption of services, with operations postponed and patients turned away as members of various public-sector unions threatened staff, blocked entrances and strewed rubbish about the facility. Charlotte Maxeke is one of Gauteng’s four academic hospitals. Thursday’s demonstration was the latest in a series of similar incidents. Operations were cancelled at Leratong Hospital in Krugersdorp on Tuesday due to protests, while services at Charlotte Maxeke were brought to a standstill in late April by union members. The National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union’s Gauteng provincial secretary, Tshepo Mokheranyana, said he hoped the latest incident had "taught the department a lesson", but in the same b...

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