The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] is shocked and angered by the statement attributed by the Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi that there is an intention to classify the department of Home Affairs as a security department.
This comes against the background of a submission of a Bill to Cabinet proposing a change on the operation of the department as a security department. Indeed, we find the pronouncement as bordering on populism by Minister Motsoaledi. We must however remind the Minister that matters pertaining to conditions of service and scope of work for public servants are discussed at the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council [PSCBC] and at the General Public Service Sector Bargaining Council as proper and appropriate platforms not through public pronouncements.
We urge the Minister not to be preoccupied by media populism but rather focus on the core functions of Home Affairs, which include amongst others the administration of the movement of people, identification credentials and rendering quality services to the nation. Currently, the department is found-wanting in many areas of its core functions partly as a result of having a Minister that behaves like a pop-star and obsessed with being a media darling to appear to be working whilst the opposite is actually unfolding.
The department is confronted by serious challenges that have a direct impact to service delivery to our people. Home Affairs is currently struggling to fill over 9,000 vacant posts and as the union, we have been fighting for the filling of these vacant funded posts in the department. We have been raising this matter including questioning why Home Affairs is setting aside funds for Border Management Agency (BMA) whilst they have so many vacant posts to fill as they impact negatively on service delivery as we see long queues at Home Affairs.
As NEHAWU, we call on the Minister not to be carried away but to keep his focus on real matters affecting poor service of the department before being obsessed with classifying the department as a security department.
Equally, we want to warn the Minister not to venture into an old matter of employees working Saturday Shifts without any remuneration. As NEHAWU, we relentlessly fought against that decision which changes conditions of service of our members and workers at Home Affairs with the introduction of Saturday Shifts without any remuneration.
NEHAWU is more than ready and prepared to take up a fight once again in defence of our members and workers’ rights if the Minister insist on employees working Saturday Shifts without any remuneration.
Lastly, we are warning the Minister not as a threat but as a fact that he dare take us back and do this unlawfully act then he will meet the mighty of our union that is capable to render the department unworkable when provoked.
Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat
Zola Saphetha (General Secretary) at 082 558 5968; December Mavuso (Deputy General Secretary) at 082 558 5969; Lwazi Nkolonzi (NEHAWU National Spokesperson) at 081 558 2335 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org