The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] congratulates our glorious liberation movement and leader of the revolutionary tripartite alliance, the African National Congress [ANC], for a successful and united 107th anniversary and peoples manifesto launch held yesterday at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, KwaZulu-Natal Province.
Indeed, yesterday’s celebrations and the manifesto launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa further invigorates not only ANC members but our people who continue to look up to the ANC to bring betterment into their lives. We emerge from this rally more determined to ferociously and decisively deal with the triple challenges posed by unemployment, inequalities and abject poverty.
Armed with the manifesto launched yesterday we will crisscross the country and visit our members, workers and our people in both urban and rural areas to tell them about the plans the ANC has to bring them a better life. Through our federation we will ensure that the ANC implements this manifesto fully and that it becomes a living organism that will be used to fight the triple challenges.
We applaud the ANC for taking bold steps to confront corruption and state capture in the quest to restore the credibility of public institutions and holding transgressors accountable. We welcome the establishment of the Zondo commission of enquiry into state capture, the commission into both the South African Revenue Services [SARS] and the Public Investment Corporation [PIC].
The uprooting of corruption wherever it rears its ugly head must be societal issue as corruption has the potential to erode the gains of our hard fought democracy.
The manifesto further highlighted our long held concern that access to healthcare services remains dependent on a person’s social and economic circumstances which disadvantages poor and the working class who do not have deep pockets to access quality and reliable health care. We are elated that the manifesto calls for the speedily and full implementation of the National Health
Insurance [NHI] to correct this injustice.
As NEHAWU, we applaud the intention to finalise the enabling legislation for the NHI as part of the government’s plan to ensure universal access for all to quality health care regardless of their ability to pay. The implementation of the NHI has been delayed for far too long as the expense of the working class and we call on the ANC to avoid any further delays. Furthermore we also welcome the fact that the manifesto recognises the need to immediately deal with the crisis that seeks to completely degenerate the public healthcare system. As the biggest trade union in the public healthcare sector we will continue to campaign against issues like corruption, poor financial prudency, human resources irregularities, and the maintenance and procurement of medical equipment including the creation of a capable state to respond to socio and economic challenges in order to improve the living conditions of its citizenry.
We welcome the expansion of free education for students from poor and working class background this year to cover both first year and second year students and the planned roll out to further cover third and fourth year as well. We will be joining the Progressive Youth Alliance [PYA] in both universities and TVET’s to ensure that students are able to register and that no student is excluded based on their ability to pay.
However, the rollout of free education stands to be sabotaged by an ineffective NSFAS which should be at the centre of disseminating free education to deserving students. NSFAS must be geared properly to undertake this imperative tasks which seeks to open the doors of learning to students who previously had no access because of their socioeconomic realities. In this regard, we warn against any failure to deliver free education be it by the NSFAS management or the Department of Higher Education and Training [DHET] as we will not fold our arms and watch such affliction take place.
We note the call by the manifesto unveiled by President Ramaphosa which calls for public servants to serve our people with commitment, diligence, humility, and respect. However, such can be achieved in a conducive and caring environment that values the contribution of workers as they are stationed at the point of service. Currently, the public service is still plagued by high levels of understaffing, dilapidated infrastructure, outsourcing and corruption. In this regard, we call on government to fill all funded vacant post as a matter of urgency, insource all services and investigate all allegations of corruption and wasteful expenditure.
Once more we encourage all South Africans to register to vote on the final registration weekend on the 26th and 27th January 2018. A vote for the ANC is a vote for a better life for all and we encourage all our members, workers and our people to make a clever choice.
Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat
Zola Saphetha (General Secretary) at 082 558 5968; December Mavuso (Deputy General Secretary) at 082 558 5969; Khaya Xaba (NEHAWU Media Liaison Officer) at 082 455 2500 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org Visit NEHAWU website: www.nehawu.org.za