A meeting was convened this afternoon at the request of the Minister of Social Development, Honourable Susan Shabangu, to resolve issues that led to NEHAWU embarking on a national strike.
The meeting was characterised by robust debates and eventually arrived at a positive outcome for both beneficiaries and workers. Both parties agreed that issues that led to the strike could have been handled much better and committed themselves to build a more cordial relationship with each other. The meeting recommitted themselves to ensuring that beneficiaries are taken care of and treated with dignity. Both parties agreed that a special focus is needed to deal with the consequences of the decommissioning of pay points which has disadvantaged beneficiaries especially those in rural areas.
At the end both parties agreed that Biometrics must be suspended and that functionality on the system must be reversed by Monday, 15 October 2018. After the suspension of the functionality is done tests will be conducted to eliminate any unintended consequences. Workers will revert back to the SOCPEN system that they have been using and are familiar with. An amendment of the KPA’s of grant administrator will be undertaken and SASSA will also look into the issue of remuneration for any extra added tasks to be performed by workers.
Job Evaluations must be undertaken and the Minister also commit to prioritise the issue of skills audit. Going forward, consultation shall be strengthened. The circular instructing employees to bypass the biometric shall be withdrawn officially and a message will be sent to all SASSA managers across the country in this regard. Equally final warnings issued shall be withdrawn too and no disciplinary actions relating to biometrics will be tolerated going forward.
The union will go back to the picket lines tomorrow to report to members on a draft settlement agreement and use that to get a mandate for signing and demobilising. On Monday, all workers are expected to return back to work and parties agreed that the “no work, no pay” principle will not be applied and that no workers will face punitive measures for participating on the strike.
For more information contact:
Khaya Xaba National Spokesperson at 082 455 2500 or
Paseka Letsatsi SASSA Spokesperson at 082 883 9969