The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] Mpumalanga Province successfully convened its 5th ordinary Provincial Executive Committee [PEC] on the 22nd to 23rd March 2018 at the Mbombela Municipality, in Promenade hotel.
The PEC was attended by delegates representing all four regions of the national union in the province, Provincial Officials and National Office Bearers, represented by National Treasure. The meeting received reports covering all four pillars of the organization which includes: International, Political, Socio-economic and Organizational assessment. The meeting also assessed progress made in terms of implementing the union’s minimum program for the period under review.
The meeting resolved to intensify and escalate our solidarity work with the oppressed people of Swaziland, especially calling for the release of one of our own, Cde Amos Mbhedzi who is languishing in a Swaziland jail, and expose the 50/50 and the bogus elections for what they really are.
On the International front, the PEC noted that the crisis of capitalism continues to affect humanity negatively characterized by high levels of unemployment and poverty. The PEC noted the decline of the liberation movements in the African continent. We also welcome the re-election of President Putin back to the highest office of Russia and also join the progressive forces of the world in participating in the Israel Apartheid Week activities. In this regard, we will as part of our solidarity with the people of Palestine organize a massive march on the 27th March 2018 in Mbombela with all structures of the movement.
The PEC noted that the ANC 54th National Conference was highly contested, but a huge success from a logistics point of view. We also note that the election outcomes presented a united leadership which we hope will forge unity and ensure that factions are dismantled. We welcome the radical and progressive resolutions, like organizational renewal, expropriation of land without compensation, free education, down grading of Israel Embassy in South Africa and radical program on the Swaziland. Equally, the meeting noted that the ANC in Mpumalanga is working towards the Provincial General Council [PGC] to replace the vacant positions of the Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson and additional members as they were elected into the ANC NEC. The union is very much concerned about the USA style of campaigning towards the PGC as all candidates have commenced with campaigning before the convening of branch general meetings.
We therefore, call upon the ANC in the province to lead by example and follow leadership policy position of through the eye of the needle, not through the eye of the faction. We also call upon membership of the ANC to follow on the trail of the 54th National congress of rejecting slates and list politics and to reclaim their organization from factions or groupings.
As NEHAWU, we condemned the pronouncement by the former ANC Provincial Chairperson who has a particular preference on who must succeed him as the Chairperson. We view it a divisive and not in keeping with the tradition of the ANC, because the ANC is not a tribal institution but a mass based liberation movement. His pronouncement is very unfortunate.
We are also baffled by the existence a structure called PRET-SA in the province which seeks to portray itself as part of alliance and seeks to replace SANCO. What is more worrisome is the fact that this structure displayed their flag during the ANC January 08 rally in Mpumalanga and made pronouncement on the succession debate and called for the removal of Nkomazi Mayor and the Chief whip.
We welcome the appointment of the first female Premier, Cde Refilwe Mthsweni, and the appointment of Cde Sbusiso Malaza as new MEC of Education. We hope him coming from NEHAWU and COSATU will assist him to work with all stakeholder (labour, parents and the students’ population) to provide quality public education. We are however, disappointed by the restructuring of the executive that keeps non-performing members such as Mr Gilion Mashego in the executive. We reject the changes made in TROIKA members in Municipalities such as Nkomazi, Steve Tshwete, Emalahleni, Lekwa, Msukalikwa and Govern Mbeki which we perceive as purging those they disagree with. It is in our view that the changing of TROIKA members in the municipalities is informed by factional tendencies which seeks to remove comrades who supported the ANC President, Cde Cyril Ramaphosa, towards the ANC 54th National Conference.
The meeting noted that this year is a year of both Provincial and National Congresses of COSATU. As NEHAWU, we appreciate the work done so far by the federation especially the launching of COSATU locals. We are however concerned by the failure to implement COSATU Congress resolution of joining the World Federation of Trade Unions [WFTU].
The PEC also made an assessment about state of the public service in Mpumalanga and concluded that not all is well especially in the Department of Health, as the results the union will be engaging on a rolling mass actions from March to April 2018 calling for the improvement of public services, especially health and education. We will also call for the removal of both the HOD and MEC of Health due to poor leadership.
The meeting further noted that the new University of Mpumalanga has been closed for a week. The new university must reflect the ethos of a new South Africa, institutions of higher learning must reflect a strategic vision of our country. We have observed union bashing by management including the dismissal of the NEHAWU Branch Secretary, the SASCO Provincial Treasure was not allowed to register and the SRC President was victimized by management. We therefore call for the removal of the Vice chancellor and dissolution of the council with immediate effect.
The meeting also made an assessment on the current public service wage negotiations at the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council [PSCBC], and noted the delaying tactics displayed by the employer and the inability to engage on our demands which has led to the negotiation process being protracted unnecessary. We are going to prepare and mobilize all our members to be ready for a serious fight against any form of arrogance which will be displayed by the employer during these negotiation processes.
We note that South Africa remains with highest rate of HIV infections in the world with 12.7% of the population estimated to be living with the virus and we commend the efforts made by our government in the fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic, however, a concerted effort is needed by all stakeholders to lower this percentage. The absorption of Community Health Workers [CHWs] in the public service as part of the PHC Re-engineering approach is fundamental. As part of monitoring for the implementation of the National Health Insurance [NHI], we will strengthen our Health Subcommittees, especially in Gert Sibande which is the piloting District.
As part of strengthening workplace organization, we shall continue implementing our CEC resolution of visiting 30 branches per region a month and we shall sustain the convening of our weekly war rooms. The meeting also noted that 2018 is the year of convening branch congresses, followed by quality shop stewards training and we will ensure that all structures of the national union in the province as guided by the National Office Bearers are ready for the implementation of this massive task. We shall continue convening our Organizers Forums on a monthly basis, focusing on membership recruitment and servicing as well as preparing for successful branch congresses.
Case handling and management is a pillar of our organization and therefore prior and post the branch congresses, we will work towards reviving and strengthening our paralegal teams at all levels as part of enhancing service to our members, and this will include rolling out an intensive training program for our paralegal teams. We will ensure that all paralegal teams’ members receive the necessary quality training post the branch congress.
Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat
For more information contact: NEHAWU Mpumalanga Provincial Secretary, Cde Welcome Mnisi, at 082 455 2897
or email firstname.lastname@example.org visit NEHAWU website www.nehawu.org.za