SASSA to down tools countrywide from Wednesday

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] is at the advanced stage of preparing and mobilising for a full blown strike in the South African Social Security Agency [SASSA], Kempton Express reports.

The strike is set to commence on Wednesday, October 10 in all SASSA workplaces across the country.

The strike comes as a result of the refusal by SASSA management to resolve the challenges brought about by the migration of the Social Grant Payment System from Cash Paymaster Services [CPS] to the South African Post Office [SAPO].

These challenges include the introduction of biometric enrolment of beneficiaries and staff, the Grant Business process and SOCPEN fraud.

According to a statement issued by Nehawu on Monday, numerous attempts by the union to avert the strike had failed.

“It has been our understanding that the strike remains a last resort after exhausting all available avenues, including seeking an intervention from the Minister of Social Development, Honourable Susan Shabangu. On Wednesday the total shutdown will begin which shall halt all SASSA operations until our demands are fully met.

For us this is a fight we are not prepared to lose because we are waging it not only on behalf of our members and workers but mostly on behalf of the most vulnerable section of our society who rely squarely on SASSA for a livelihood.

The leadership of the union has met the secretariat of the SACP this morning and is also intending to raise the issue of its strike with COSATU and the Communications Workers’ Union [CWU].

The process of engaging SASSA came to a deadlock on September 20 when SASSA management made it clear they were not willing to accede to its demands which were:

•       Biometric Enrolment of beneficiaries to be suspended
•       Consultation on Biometric Enrolment of Beneficiaries to be prioritised
•       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.

 

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