The National Executive Committee [NEC] of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] will protest at the union buildings on Monday September 21, 2020 until President Cyril Ramaphosa responds adequately and positively to the memorandum of demands submitted to him on the 3rd September 2020.
Unfortunately, since we submitted the memorandum of demands to the President of the Republic through the eight (8) Premiers, the Speaker of National Parliament and directly to the Union Buildings and he has not responded to our demands as he was given seven days to respond which expired on the 10th September 2020.
On the 11th September 2020, NEHAWU wrote to the Office of the President to remind him about the ultimatum which had expired and informing him about our intention to withdraw labour power. Disappointingly, the Office of the President has only acknowledged the receipt of our letter and nothing about responding to our demands.
As NEHAWU, we believe that our demands contained in the memorandum are urgent, reasonable and they deal with issues of life and death. It is for this reason that we have resolved to go and protest at the Union Buildings on Monday September 21, 2020 from 10am. Similar protest will also take place in all the Premiers offices across the country as part of putting more pressure on government to speedily, positively, and adequately respond to our demands.
The national union has taken a decision that it will not sit idle while the President take his time when we made it unequivocally clear that we demand a response on the 10th September 2020. In this regard, the leadership of NEHAWU will not leave the Union Buildings and the Premiers offices until the President addresses us and resolves our issues as we believe we have been very patient with him and now our patience has dissipated.
The inaction by the President is to the detriment of our members who are getting infected on a daily basis by the coronavirus, losing their lives and dying of hunger as they are denied their salary increases and bonuses as public servants and risk allowance or motivational incentives for frontline workers. A total of 32 429 health workers had contracted the virus while 257 lost their lives as of September 11, 2020 as per the statistics provided by the National Department of Health. In this regard, we will not fold our arms while we are losing our members while government continues to insult workers by refusing to implement Resolution 1 of 2018 especially Clause 3.3.
These protests will run concurrently with the ongoing lunch hour demonstrations and mobilisation for the complete withdrawal of our labour power in all sectors we organise if our demands are not acceded to by the President. This include preparing and mobilising for the 3rd October which is the World Federation of Trade Unions [WFTU] International Day of Action, the COSATU general strike on the 7th October 2020 and the National Students Financial Aid Scheme [NSFAS] upcoming strike will be integrated into our strike action plans.
A Special NEC meeting will be convened on the 30th September 2020 to receive reports on the progress made in forcing government to accede to our demands and to make a determination on the way forward.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org