The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] in the North West province convened its 7th plenary session the Provincial Executive Committee [PEC] meeting of its 11th Provincial Congress on the 13th-14th June 2018. The PEC considered the international context, political and socio-economic situations as well as organisational assessment.
The meeting also took place after the province finally witnessed the forced resignation of the Premier of the North West and the decision by national government to invoke section 100 of the constitution against the provincial government.
This PEC meeting took place after the conclusion of the public service wage negotiations which lasted for almost ten months. The PEC agreed that these negotiations were the most difficult as they took place under conditions which were not favourable to the workers.
The meeting remembered The Battle of Cuito Cuanavale which marks 30 years since it took place in Angola. To us Cuito Cuanavale, where battle lines were drawn alongside ideological conviction, is a historic turning point in the struggle for the total liberation of the region from racist rule and aggression. It represents the defeat of the South African Defence Force and the USA which was aided by UNITA, by the Angolan army which fought alongside Cuban, Soviet Union, MK and SWAPO forces.
We noted and condemn the barbaric killings by the Israeli troops of innocent Palestinians including women and children in Gaza. We condemn the actions of apartheid Israel and the USA in their brutal annexation of lands from the Golan Heights in Syria to the whole of Palestine to Lebanon. In this regard, we reiterate the call for our government to cut all ties with Apartheid Israel guided by the African National Congress 54th national conference resolution to immediately and unconditionally downgrade the SA embassy in Israel to a liaison office. We will also ensure that we implement all activities under our international relations pillar.
On the Political Situation
The meeting noted that this year marks the 25th anniversary of the passing on of the African National Congress’ longest serving President, Cde Oliver Reginald Kaizana Tambo. We also remembered the late President of the ANC, Chief Albert Luthuli. Both these Presidents of the ANC understood the alliance and its importance in relation to our national democratic revolution and its logical conclusion. In that regard, we call on the current President of the ANC, Cde Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa to ensure that the alliance is revived and strengthened in pursuance of our national democratic revolution.
The meeting feels vindicated after the forced resignation of Supra Mahumapelo as Premier. For a long time, the provincial government has been deteriorating in terms of service delivery. This deterioration of service delivery was a result of the disguised looting of the state in the name of the five concretes. The PEC would also like to caution the progressive forces in the province that the forced resignation of Supra Mahumapelo as Premier is not the end of our problems in the province but should be seen as the beginning of finding solutions. The efforts that led to the forced resignation should be harnessed in order to ensure that we have a clean government led by a trusted African National Congress.
We also commend all progressive forces in the province who worked tirelessly to ensure that an end is brought to the cancer of corruption especially in government departments and entities.
We thanked all our members who participated in both the Provincial and National Days of Action against corruption in the provincial government.
Section 100 and the Inter-Ministerial Task Team (IMTT)
The PEC welcomed the invoking of section 100 of the Constitution of the Republic on the provincial government. The meeting noted that there is relative calm in the province since the appointment of the IMTT. On the same breath, the meeting felt that the IMTT is moving very slow in terms of addressing the challenges raised especially as it relates to demands raised by the union. We will call on our national office to meet with the IMTT and ensure that all our demands are met speedily as we want a stable provincial government. Acting Premier
The meeting discussed the issue of the Acting Premier in length and resolved that as a union we will not sponsor any particular name for the position as it is the prerogative of the President guided by the deployment committee which should include the alliance partners.
However, as NEHAWU in the province we strongly feel that whoever is appointed Premier should be equal to the challenges currently facing the government, be beyond reproach and satisfy the criteria of leadership as contained in through the eye of the needle.
COSATU Provincial Congress
The meeting noted that the Provincial Congress of the Federation is taking place on the 4th -6th July 2018. The union is also alive to the challenges confronting the federation in our province. In that regard, we will convene an Extended Provincial Political Commission to prepare for the COSATU Provincial Congress. We are also aware of the resolution of the 11th and 12th national congresses of Federation on affiliation of COSATU to the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) and will sharply raise it in congress.
ANC The meeting noted the political and organisational challenges facing the African National Congress in the province. We note the regrouping of the premier league faction in the province and its fight to cling to positions of power in the organisation and in government. We call on the collective leadership of the national executive committee of the ANC to dismantle factions and instil discipline and unity in the organisation. Any failure in this regard will only serve to hurt the ANC and divide the revolutionary alliance.
Despite all these challenges confronting the ANC the meeting felt that the ANC remains the relevant vehicle to drive the emancipation of blacks in general and Africans in particular. We also noted that the 2019 general elections are fast approaching. Therefore, in the face of the challenges confronting the ANC in the province the meeting resolved to mobilise its members, workers and the working class communities to rally behind and vote for the ANC in the coming general elections in 2019.
The meeting noted that the protracted negotiations in the public sector have finally come to an end. We note that these negotiations were challenging taking into consideration the conditions under which they took place.
We also want to call on our members in the public service to remain calm and attend branch general meetings and regional bargaining forums which deal with the agreement signed at the PSCBC. These are the channels were we will directly communicate with our members on matters related to the public service wage agreement. On Health
The PEC noted the state of health in our province. We know for a fact that the state of health in our province has been deteriorating long before our actions that led to the department being placed under section 100 (1) (b). We note the appointment of the IMTT and are willing to work with it to ensure that the standard of health in the province is uplifted. On the same breath, we note that health has not only being a challenge in our province but country-wide. Part of the bigger challenges in this department is outsourcing, privatisation, irregular expenditures, litigations, shortage of staff and corruption. We reiterate the call for a health indaba to scrutinise the crisis in health.
To that effect we will convene the Provincial Health Sub-Committee, the Provincial nurse’s forum and the Community Health Workers general members’ meetings to discuss the situation in our province and map out a way forward to ensure that the crisis in health is dealt with.
We also want to applaud all our members for actively fighting the cancer of corruption, especially in the Departments of Health and Social Development. Corruption is at the centre of our challenges in the province and we must not rest but fight this cancer wherever it rears its ugly head.
On Higher Education
The PEC noted the fact that the higher education sector in the province needs dedicated attention. In that regard, we will convene the Provincial Education Committee to look into all matters affecting our members in the higher education sector.
The PEC is aware of the attacks coming from other organisations of workers towards NEHAWU and other sister unions in relation to the public service wage negotiations. We will not return the favour by spewing bile against other workers’ organisation as that only serves to give courage to our class enemies. We will convene general meetings of members where we will communicate with members.
The PEC also noted that there are some members of the ANC who are hell-bent on perpetuating factional politics at the expense of the movement as a whole, all in the name of satisfying their gigantic appetites for abusing power and looting. We therefore call on all ANC loving members to fight these appetites and restore the ANC to its glory.
For further information, please contact: Patrick Makhafane @ 082 455 2486 or Toffies Moemi @ 073 064 9300.