The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] is highly disappointed with the ruling of the Labour Court, interdicting the public service strike action which was to commence as from the 6thMarch 2023. 

The court ruling follows an urgent application by the Department of Public Service and Administration [DPSA] which the matter was heard in the Johannesburg Labour Court on Saturday 04th March 2023 after being postponed from 03rd March 2023.  

The court decided to grant the interdict to DPSA although the judge never provided any substantial reasons for his judgment as he advised that he shall only deliver his reasons on Monday, the 06th March 2023. As NEHAWU, we are shocked by this decision to interdict us with no reason provided. 

The leadership of the union met this afternoon with the legal team to deliberate on a suitable legal recourse that included the filling to appeal the judgement. In this regard, we wish to confirm that the union has filed the application for leave to appeal at 15H30 to give a go ahead to our strike commencing tomorrow morning, the 6th March 2023 until the leave to appeal is determined. This means that, by implication Section 18 of the Superior Courts Act 10 of 2013 kicks in, which automatically suspends operation of the court order until the leave to appeal is determined. Therefore our strike continues on the 6th March 2023 as planned.

As NEHAWU, we reiterate once again that this 6th Administration is hell-bent on destroying collective bargaining, rights of workers and made it as its task to reverse and roll-back the gains made by workers over the years. This is evident through numerous actions and continuous appetite of approaching labour courts in resolving matters of collective bargaining as oppose of taking an advantage of institutions of dialogues such as bargaining councils, etc.  

Workers have been on the receiving end of the onslaught by this 6th Administration in many ways, including poor working conditions despite the fact that public service workers contribute on daily basis to the betterment of the South African people, especially the working class and the poor in the frontlines of service delivery. For our work to be effective, the public service must have a strong capacity in terms of the suitable headcount of workers in different departments and work-stations. It must also have capabilities in terms of the necessary skills and ongoing training support.

Today, the public service has been severely weakened, especially with regard to its capacity because of the moratorium that has been imposed on the filling of vacancies as a result of the multiple years of the Treasury’s austerity measures. Therefore, the improvements in our working conditions, including improvement in pay, is a necessary means of strengthening the public service.

Lastly, having filed the application for leave to appeal, we are forging ahead with our strike which will demonstrate to government the seriousness with which we take the concerted effort to underplay the role and significance of public servants who are at the coalface of service delivery. We are more than confident that workers will come out in numbers to the picket lines to send an unequivocal message to government. 


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: