NEHAWU supports the call for heads to roll following deterioration of ESKOM

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] is fully supportive of the sentiments expressed by our federation, the Congress of South African Trade Unions [COSATU] for heads to roll following the deterioration of Eskom and claims that President Cyril Ramaphosa was intentionally misled on loadshedding.

When the Thuma Mina campaign was launched it made promises that there would be transparency and accountability in how government is run. As NEHAWU, we believe that failure to decisively act against those who fail to deliver on their mandate undermines the spirit of the campaign and what it seeks to achieve.

We welcome the resignation of Jabu Mabuza as the chairperson of the board of Eskom and call on the Minster and other board members to follow suit. The national union believes that both the Minister of Public Enterprises, Mr Pravin Gordhan, and the rest of the Eskom board must resign with immediate effect for allowing the entity to deteriorate to such a despicable level. Eskom has been reduced to this shameful state under the watch of the Minister and he was present when the board misled the President about loadshedding.

We hold a strong view that Minister Gordhan has not been doing a good job where he is deployed in government. Apart from twiddling his thumbs while Eskom crumbled he has also allowed other State Owned Enterprises [SOE’s] to be in a perpetual state of disarray. Majority of the SOE’s are shambolically managed and haemorrhage money on a daily basis.

During the announcement of the 2018/19 audit outcomes the Auditor-General equipped that the audit outcomes of SOE’S are the worst they have ever been and that none of them managed to obtain a clean audit while also failing to comply with laws and regulations. Lack of financial prudency, mismanagement, fruitless and wasteful expenditure continues to be the order of the day. The situation is so dire that most of them rely on bailouts for survival. These are funds that government should be using to improve service delivery.

It is for these reasons we believe that Minister Gordhan must do the honourable thing and resign. We are in crisis mode and we need a proactive Minister who will roll up his sleeves and resolve the calamity we are facing. It is crystal clear that he is not bother by the failures of the SOE’S especially the adverse effects loadshedding has on the economy and on the everyday lives of ordinary South Africans.

On Tito Mboweni

The national union has been extremely worried about the conduct of Cde Tito Mboweni for a very long time and the lack of appetite by the leadership of the African National Congress [ANC] to reign him in. We hold a strong view that Cde Mboweni has totally no regard for both the ANC and the alliance. Cde Mboweni has been running amok undermining the centrality and existence of the alliance and this was highlighted by the unilateral publication of the neoliberal economic discussion document by Treasury which is totally different from the outcomes of the ANC 54th National Conference and the 2019 National General Elections Manifesto commitments.

Under his leadership workers have been living in fear as he and his department have been threatening the livelihoods of workers by constantly making threats of wage cuts, wage freezing and a job bloodbath in the public service. He has proven beyond reasonable double that he is anti-workers and cares less about the prosperity of the country.

The national union believes that we urgently need a change in the leadership of Treasury. NEHAWU believes that our country is faced with a national economic emergency to arrest and turn-around the expanding rate of unemployment, deepening inequalities and abject poverty. Our firm belief is that the current leadership of treasury and its orientation will not assist the country in decisively fighting the triple challenges. In this regard, we also call for Cde Mboweni to also do the honourable thing and resign.

We will engage COSATU on a clear way forward should the two comrades continue to serve where they are deployed in government. We refuse to sit idle while we see no improvement and while those deployed in these strategic positions offer absolutely nothing in the struggle to build a prosperous South Africa. 

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: