The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] welcomes the decision by the Independent Development Trust [IDT] board to stop the termination of contracts of employment of 90 workers that was due to be implemented on the 31st March 2020.
The national union held an urgent meeting with the management of IDT on the 25th March 2020 after our members raised concerns that the institution had served them with termination letters. Management alleges that this was due to the unilateral decision by the Minister Patricia De Lille to dissolve the IDT as per the letter and media statement dated 16th March 2020 from the Minister.
This is against the commitment made by the sixth administration of protecting jobs and creating more job opportunities. The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure despite that commitment saw it necessary to close the institution which employs almost 300 workers and is meant to be driving the process of building and upgrading many schools and public institutions in the country as per the mandate by parliament.
The contracts of these 90 workers have been extended for another 3 months. What is of concern is that both the IDT and the department are talking to each other through letters and emails and in the process putting the lives of 300 workers in disarray.
The union has written a letter to the Minister calling for an urgent meeting through teleconference or Skype, for the Minister to clarify herself on this matter. COVID-19 must not be used as an excuse and clarification must also include the contracts of many other workers that have been terminated by the department.
As NEHAWU, we are not going to sit and fold our arms when jobs of our members are put at risk through irrational decisions. It is our view that the establishment of IDT was done through the national parliament and as such, any decision to dissolve it must be tabled in parliament and for the record we will oppose such a decision. Corruption that has been linked to this institution should not put our member’s jobs at risk but we expect the Minister to deal with it decisively.
Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat
Zola Saphetha (General Secretary) at 082 558 5968; December Mavuso (Deputy General Secretary) at 082 558 5969; Khaya Xaba (NEHAWU National Spokesperson) at 082 455 2500 or email: email@example.com