NEWS & ANALYSIS

Our response to NEHAWU's allegations - NLC

Commission says board fully investigated claims first made in Sunday Times in January

NLC STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO ALLEGATIONS MADE IN NEHAWU MEMORANDUM

23 August 2018

Background

Employees of the National Lotteries Commission (NLC) who are members of the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU) and the National Union of Public Service and Allied Workers (NUPSAW) returned to work on Wednesday 22 August, following a two-day protected strike over salary increments.

The two unions presented memoranda to the NLC Commissioner, Mrs Charlotte Mampane and her management team on Monday 20 August. To the NLC’s surprise, NEHAWU submitted a memorandum that was addressed to the minister, which contained issues and allegations that were never raised by the union before and were in fact not the issues that the union’s protected strike was about.

Allegations of maladministration and wasteful expenditure levelled against management and board members

The allegations made by the union are in fact a repetition of allegations that appeared in the Sunday Times of 23 January 2018. These allegations were fully investigated by the board and detailed reports were sent to the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies.

The same allegations were investigated by the Office of the Public Protector and detailed investigation reports were provided to the Public Protector. Based on this, it is shocking to get an allegation that the Board of the NLC is not performing its function.

Union Bashing and intimidation of members

The allegations made by NEHAWU are a surprise to the organisation as they have never been raised before. The NLC has a recognition agreement with the unions. We adhere to the Constitution and the Labour Relations Act and employee rights are respected. In fact, the two recognised unions are capacitated by the NLC to execute their mandate and represent the interests of their members.

There is no merit to the allegation that union members have been intimidated. Employees have to right to affiliation and the rights of both unionised and non-unionised members are respected. It is the democratic right of members to participate or exclude themselves from union membership.

Irregular appointments

This allegation was fully investigated and found to be baseless and untrue. The independent investigation further indicated that there was meticulous compliance with due process regarding appointments within the NLC.

Use of Consultants

Consultants are brought on board to assist and empower NLC departments in areas where the required level of expertise is lacking within the organisation.

Lack of transparency

This allegation was made in relation to the organisational structure. Upon realignment, the structure was communicated and it appears in the Annual Performance Plan, Strategic Plan and Annual Reports. This information is also available upon request. The NLC structure is approved by the Board and it plays an oversight role in its implementation.

Manipulation of performance management systems and bonus pay-outs

Performance management is conducted in line with the performance management policy. Contracting and assessment are agreed upon by participants in line with the policy. The performance management process is automated and audited internally and externally for efficiency and effectiveness. The process is further subjected to a Moderation Committee and results are presented to the Board. Employee may initiate an appeal process should they be aggrieved by the assessment.

In conclusion, while the NLC provides platforms for all employees to report matters, individually and collectively, employees have a responsibility to report factually and substantiate by providing evidence to enable the organisation to act, where appropriate.

The allegations are open and unsubstantiated and yet raise serious issues that undermine the integrity of the Ministry, NLC Board, NLC employees and the Auditor-General of South Africa. It would be expected that allegations of this nature are fully substantiated and supported with evidence.

Statement issued by Ms Kefilwe Makhanya, Marketing and Communications, National Lotteries Commission, 23 August 2018