We’re preparing for a strike at SASSA – NEHAWU

Union says biometric enrolment of grant beneficiaries must be suspended


Friday September 14, 2018

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] is currently preparing for a strike at the South African Social Security Agency [SASSA]. The strike comes as a result of the continued disregard to processes which seek to undermine the Labour Relations Act, as amended.

The national union met with the SASSA management on the 16th August to resolve issues as part of averting the strike but the management has elected to remain intransigent. Though the national union has been very patient in giving the management an opportunity to concede to our demands, however, our patience has ran out after we came to the realisation that SASSA has no intention of conceding to our demands hence we took the decision to go on strike.

Having served the notice to strike on the 16th August 2018 SASSA instead chose to file an application for a Variation of the 2016 Essential Services Committee designation that Grant Administration and Senior Grant Administration should form part of Essential Services designation, as an attempt to avert our strike. In this regard, we want to inform the public in particular the grant beneficiaries that our demands still remains as:

- Biometric Enrolment of beneficiaries to be suspended

- Consultation on Biometric Enrolment of Beneficiaries to be prioritized

- Job evaluation in the grants administration to be undertaken

- The option of inclusion of the biometric enrolment in the KPA’s of the specific employees to perform this function, subject to the Job Evaluation results. 

As a result the national union has established a national war room to drive mobilisation for the full blown strike. The following is an adopted national program toward the strike. From the 24th September 2018 to the 2nd October 2018 we will be convening general members meetings across the country to engage members on the impeding strike. A national meeting will be convened on the 5th October 2018 to consolidate the mandate from the members before the strike commences on the 10th October 2018. The union will mobilise all its members and workers at SASSA to join the strike to send a strong message to the management that we will not tolerate their act of arrogance and failure to treat workers with dignity.

Further to this program the union will use the 13th COSATU National Congress to share the plight of the 17 million and of our members with a view to secure a special resolution at this congress. We will be convening a meeting with the leadership of the South African Communist Party [SACP] as vanguard of our members and the beneficiaries with a view to support and join our strike.

We therefore call on all our members in SASSA to be ready for a big fight as we begin with mobilisation towards the strike.

Statement issued by NEHAWU Secretariat, 14 September 2018