Speech by eThekwini Mayor, Councillor Obed Mlaba Prince Mshiyeni nurses graduation & prize giving
3 SEPTEMBER 2004 – Time: 10h00

Mrs AS Radebe, College Principal
Dr N Gxagxisa, Hospital Manager
Guest Speaker, Dr PJ Kunene
Mrs DEZ Radebe, Nursing Manager
Pastor Donda
Assembled students and nursing staff
Other hospital personnel
Comrades, friends, ladies and gentlemen

It is my pleasure to be here today at the graduation and price giving of the Prince Mshiyeni Nursing School.

My friends, as we proceed on our path of building a caring society from the ravages of apartheid, we must ensure that our health system guarantees that our people will not succumb to preventable diseases or death.

Therefore it is essential that we have adequately trained healthcare professionals every step along the way to support and underpin the health services and to keep our nation healthy.

The role of health professionals in general and nurses in particular is a paramount one. Their contribution to the quality health service delivery, which is the challenge of this current period of our government, is indispensable.

I have often thought how lost our society would be without nurses. Could anyone imagine a hospital with only doctors and cleaners and orderlies? For me the nurses provide the humanity aspect of the health services.

This 'humanity' is the very essence of our existence as human beings. Even before one can think of one's profession, one needs to think of one's humanity, 'Ubuntu', is to understand that you are because I am and I am because you are.

I would like to congratulate all the graduates and prizewinners here today and tell the management of the Nursing School and the Hospital that my Council and I are proud of the quality of your health workers and their dedication to the cause remains unquestionable. You, graduates, represent a pool of thousands of our nurses and doctors who work under strenuous conditions but defy the odds and perform brilliantly. We salute you

We know that our government approaches service delivery with the recognition that health is a basic human right in line with the provisions of the Constitution from which we derive our mandate.

KwaZulu-Natal, Health MEC, Dr Zweli Mkhize explained that even though our province has the largest health department in the country our per capita funding does not reflect this. Over the years KwaZulu-Natal has been fourth in terms of per capita funding of the uninsured population, but now it has slipped to fifth position. We have to find means of correcting this, he said. Having said this, we would not use these budget constraints as an excuse for inadequacy in the service we deliver. We are only too aware of our constitutional obligations in this regard.

As part of improving access to health services in KZN, two new 300-bed hospitals will be built at Kwa Mashu and Inanda this year. These institutions will be named in honour of two of the fathers of our liberation struggle and founders of the African National Congress who resided in the Inanda Valley. The hospital in Kwa Mashu will be named after Dr Pixley ka-Isaka Seme and the one in Inanda will be named after Dr John Langalibalele Dube, uMafukuzel' Onjengezulu.

Today we are here especially to honour Ms Busisiwe Rosemary Khanyile who will receive a Silver Fob Watch.

I will read the citation. Then I will call the young lady forward to accept her award.
Her citation reads as follows:

Ms Busisiwe Rosemary Khanyile

Born in Cleremont Township in 1965 to Mr and Mrs Khanyile. She is the third child in the family of six children. Attended Zakhele Primary School and Mqhakama High School. She was actively involved in school choir and netball.

She did her two-year training as an Enrolled nurse as Osindisweni Hospital in 1984 and passed with distinction. She was employed by Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital in 1988 up to date.

In 2001 she was selected to do the two-year Bridging course leading to registration as a General Nurse. She passed the course Cum Laude. Presently registered with University of KwaZulu-Natal for a Diploma in Community Health nursing.

She is blessed with a 20-year-old daughter. Both her parents are still alive as well as all her siblings.

Sis Busisiwe is certainly a worthy recipient of the silver fob watch. Please come forward Busisiwe and receive your award.

Through your dedication and commitment, ladies and gentlemen of the nursing profession, we have made a significant progress in addressing issues of accessibility and equity and bringing hope to our people.

On behalf of the city I would like to congratulate all the graduates today and wish you all the best for the future.

Thank you.