ABOUT 70 emergency medical services workers in Western Cape are traumatised and on sick leave.

Ambulance services have been affected by repeated attacks on workers whenever they go out to work in and around Cape Town.

Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo told Daily Sun seven ambulances are affected.

“Because of attacks, they are in and out of counselling and there is a lot of absenteeism. Currently, about 70 staff members are on a sick leave because of this, so if 70 people are on sick leave, it means roughly seven ambulances don’t have staff. It’s really a big issue.”

Mbombo called for residents to protect emergency workers as they only go to their places to help them.

During a safety conference in December, deputy health minister Mathume Phaahla said 56 attacks were registered in the province between January and October last year.

The province has since developed a zone system indicating the safety level of an area.

Red zones are areas like the Cape Flats or Browns Farm that have high crime levels and where emergency workers are attacked.

Workers only go into red zones with police escorts, but this means late arrivals.

In 2017, Siphelo Manunga from Khayelitsha was sentenced to 12 years in jail for robbing rescue workers assisting an injured person.