1 February 2013

South Africa: Cosatu/Nehawu Nw and the Mec of Social Development

The Congress of South African Trade Unions in the North West, and its affiliate NEHAWU, held a successful meeting with MEC of Social Development regarding the closure of Reamogetswe secure centre and the plan to close the Sonopo old age home.

We must report publicly that the meeting resolved that:

The secure centre will not be closed as planned,

That it will be rebuilt and start running in the next two months,

That plans will be in place jointly with unions to build the morale of workers who have been demoralized for the past six months without working but continue to receive the salary.

The MEC accepted that workers were treated unfairly and agreed that unions must be consulted on any matter affecting workers, in particular when you change the conditions of workers.

It is also agreed that the old age home will not closed, but will be rebuilt to accommodate our poor old people in a proper manner and that proper administration must be in place.

We want to call on our families and our police that the old age home must not be used for dumping of our old people. It is on record that the police, and some of us, have been dumping people without following the procedure of getting all the credentials of people who are sent to the institution.

Some old people who are at the institution have no ID, no residential address and do not know their families. We are making an appeal to all the public, in particular our own African people not to dump our old people, but bring them at the old age home with the intention of visiting them, taking care of them, making sure that when they are no more, we bury them in the manner that we do to those who are with us full-time. That is our plea as the federation in the NW.

In 2011, 2012 some of those old people were buried without their families and without IDs, which is painful in our African culture.

During our meeting with MEC it was found that most of workers are demoralised by the conditions of work and that most of them have worked overtime in 2011 and 2012 and they have not paid. The MEC gave instructions that all outstanding administrative matters must be resolved within two months by the HOD, including the payment of overtime, and all open vacancies must be filled following the procedures of government.

We must congratulate the managers and staff members at the old age home that since our last visit with MEC there has been improvement on some of the issues, even though there is a lot that still needs to be done. All things have been given to the HOD and her managers and, within two months, something must be reported to the broader meeting led by the MEC.

We call on our members that they must respect patients and do more to improve the service delivery to our poor communities.

It must on record that as COSATU we are against privatization of state resources and we are going to fight very strongly against anybody who has taken our resources to a private company called BOSASA, which is now used to take care of our youth from the secure centre.

We want to make it very clear that the MEC must investigate the contract or the procedure that was followed to take the children from the secure centre to BOSASA and anyone who did not followed the procedure must be subject to criminal investigation.

We are also calling on the Public Protector to investigate the contract between government and BOSASA and that all the services that are given to BOSASA by government must came back to our own government to create more jobs.

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