Media Release 2/2023: Nurse partaking in industrial action

10 March 2023




The South African Nursing Council’s mandate is to regulate Nursing and to protect the public on matters relating to health services generally, and Nursing in particular. The South African Nursing Council (SANC) has noted, with grave concern, the incidences where health care users of public health facilities have not been able to exercise their constitutional rights to access to health care due to the current industrial action.

There are dedicated Nurses who want to continue working and provide services essential to save lives and alleviate suffering especially amongst the vulnerable groups that include patients  who are in Critical/High Care units, people on chronic medication, children, pregnant women and people that are on life-saving therapies e.g. oncology treatment.  We appeal in particular, that these Nurses be assured of safety and of their lives while exercising their professional, ethical, and moral obligation to save lives and not be hindered in their duty to provide care to our patients.

The SANC wants to remind Nurses who are partaking in the industrial action about the Nurse’s Pledge that holds: “The total health of our patients will be our first consideration”.

We also would like to reiterate to the whole Nursing fraternity that their right to strike does not supersede their professional and moral responsibility to be of service to the consumers of health care.

The SANC shall further in terms of its mandate take action, in any matters of Unprofessional Conduct by a Nurse, that the SANC becomes aware of or which is reported to the SANC.

Says Prof Ntombi Mtshali, SANC Registrar and CEO: “The SANC commends measures that have been put in place, i.e. the court interdict, to deal with intimidation and look forward to interventions that would ensure that patients are not denied their right to health care services. We appeal to the Government as an employer and the unions to work together to speedily resolve this dispute that has and continues to threaten the lives of patients.”

Let us all remember that health is a human right.


Issued by:

Mrs. Adri van Eeden

Senior Manager:  Communication and Marketing

South African Nursing Council



Tel:  012 426-9542


Official Spokesperson and person to be quoted:

Prof. Ntombifikile Mtshali

Registrar and CEO:  SA Nursing Council


For more information or to arrange for an interview with the Spokesperson, please contact Mrs. Adri van Eeden on Tel. (012) 426-9542 or email: