The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] calls on the Minister of Home Affairs, Minister Malusi Gigaba, to be realistic about solving the problems that are currently engulfing the department.
While on a surprise visit to the Orlando West offices the Minister said he wants his department to give a comprehensive report and strategy on managing long queues at Home Affairs offices across the country. The aim of the report will be to help the department deal with long queues and delayed processes.
As NEHAWU, we call on the Minister to focus on the perpetual crisis that the union has been highlighting for a very long time. At the centre of the long queues and delayed processes in the offices is the issue of short staffing and an overworked work force. The national union throughout the years has emphasised that short staffing is at the centre of the problems of the department especially in the ports of entry. We have continuously pleaded with the department to fill all funded vacant posts to help deal with the huge workload and our calls have continuously fell on deaf ears.
On the 9th April 2018 the Director General issued a circular titled “Reduction of the Department’s funded posts establishment” explaining why vacant funded posts will not be filled. According to the circular, the department will not be filling all funded vacant posts because of lack of funds. Our view is that the current shortage of money is as a result of corruption, wasteful and fruitless expenditure. If the department was practising financial prudency and good governance it would not find itself in this dire situation.
We call on the Minister as a matter of urgency to deal with the horrible working conditions that our members are subjected to. Most of the offices are still without functioning ablution facilities, safe and working lifts, and proper security. In the ports of entry workers do not have working tools and they are only supplied during peak seasons. Moreover, the department refuses to pay overtime yet they expect workers to be encouraged to put in extra effort. Currently, the department does not provide proper transport for workers when they knock off late or when they have to work early in the morning yet they are expected to perform to the best of their abilities.
A sound turnaround strategy is required to ensure that the department functions optimally and they should begin by treating our members and workers with dignity. Like any other employer the department has an obligation to ensure that its most prized assets which is its human resource is well taken care of.
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: email@example.com Visit NEHAWU website: www.nehawu.org.za