Our members have been pleading with the departmental management to look into these allegations for the past two years with no positive results. Evidence of corrupt activities and wasteful expenditure were presented to management in 2017 but the department elected to ignore these glaring irregularities raised by our members.
As NEHAWU, we have in our possession evidence that points to corruption in the scholar transport programme and the fleet of the department. The department is aware of the corruption that took place when the tracking devices were installed on the fleet yet nothing was done to hold those responsible to account. Management was made aware of the high levels of nepotism in the department but once again they elected to turn a deaf ear.
NEHAWU members in the department have continuously raised issues of irregular appointments especially that of the DDG responsible for administration who was employed with no qualifications at all. The DDG has been victimising and intimidating our members for questioning his leadership role in the department while he does not have the necessary and required qualifications. As NEHAWU, we shall not tolerate any form of union bashing and we shall defend our members at all material times.
In 2015 a PwC investigation was commissioned to perform verification of qualifications, skills audit and person to post matching. The report revealed that majority of senior management does not have the required skills and qualifications. Both human resources and corporate services does not have qualified personnel at all.
There are presently 122 Emergency Medical Services vehicles that are standing idle and gathering dust at the Woodbrook Depot in East London. This is happening when millions of our people in the rural areas are in dire need of emergency medical transportation. In our view, this constitute wasteful and fruitless expenditure that violates the core of the Public Finance Management Act [PFMA] principles.
Three weeks ago, four senior managers were suspended for their role in the downgrading of the Umthatha airport by the head of the department. However, their suspensions were uplifted in a dodgy manner and we demand to know who issued the instruction to uplift their suspension and the reasons thereof.
Most of the workers in the department are contract workers and few employees are employed on a permanent basis. By law anyone employed for more than three months must be employed on a permanent basis and that has not been the case in the department. NEHAWU will fight tooth and nail to ensure that all workers are permanently employed.
Our legal team is currently perusing the evidence at our disposal with the view to open criminal cases. The evidence will also be shared with the HAWKS and the office of the Public Protector. NEHAWU will also write to the ANC, COSATU and SACP to alert them of the irregularities in the department including the mistreatment of our members and workers.
The national union has noted that the department has declined a request by our branch to have a general meeting to address amongst other issues related to corruption and collective bargaining. In light of this high level of arrogance the province working with national office will correspond to the department on the need for this important meeting which will be addressed by the General Secretary on Monday 11th March 2019. After the meeting with members, the union will demand an urgent meeting with the MEC and the Premier to discuss the matters raised above.
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