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  |  Affiliates Press Statements

NEHAWU 11th National Congress Resolutions and Outcomes

7 July 2017

The National Education Health & Allied Workers Union [NEHAWU] concluded its successful and united 11th National Congress on the 26th - 29th of June 2017 at the Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg which took place under the theme "Strengthen workplace organisation, deepen class consciousness and advance internationalism". Over 575 delegates representing 272 826 members across the country attended the congress to assess the union's performance in implementing the mandate of the 10th National Congress and also put together a programme of action for the next four years. The congress was blessed by the presence of representatives from the Congress Alliance, COSATU Affiliates and delegates drawn from 36 international fraternal organisations across the globe including delegates from the World Federation Trade Union (WFTU), our world class-orientated federation of trade unions led by the Deputy General Secretary and the President of the Trade Union International of the Public Service and Allied Employees (TUI-PAE).

Flowing from the spirit and progressive outcomes of the congress in terms of concrete resolutions and leadership, the newly elected National Office Bearers convened their first meeting after the congress on the 6th - 7th of July 2017 to reflect on the outcomes of the congress in order to work the organisational process through the constitutional executive structures for the development of a minimum programme towards the first Central Executive Committee of the 11th National Congress in December.

Sadly, this first meeting of the newly elected NOBs took place a day after the passing away of our Eastern Cape Provincial Chairperson, Cde Makhi Clay who collapsed on the last day of the congress. This disciplined, dynamic and visionary leader was admitted in the hospital since Thursday, 29th June 2017 where he lost the battle on Wednesday evening, 05th July 2017 when he was declared deceased. On behalf of our entire membership and the COSATU family, we send out heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and comrades, and at this point the union wish do everything at its disposal to support the family for a dignified funeral.

The meeting recognised that our 11th National Congress coincided with the 30th anniversary of the founding of our union. In this regard, the meeting acknowledged the important milestone in the history of this giant public sector union and gains registered to better working conditions of our members and in the transformation of the public sector. Indeed, throughout the 30 years of our existence, we have grown from strength to strength right from the beginning in the transformation of the Apartheid state into the democratic state, and from 1994 we have been seized in bitter battles against Neoliberal measures such as privatisation, outsourcing, agencification, etc. in pursuit of the creation of a developmental state. As part of celebrating our 30th anniversary, the meeting directed provinces to convene gatherings where leaders and members would be celebrating our gallant, militant and 30 fighting years and our achievements which amongst others include the placing of the National Health Insurance on a national agenda, our successful hosting of the 17th Trade Union Congress of WFTU in Durban last year which was for the first time on the African continent and the election our President Cde Mzwandile Makwayiba as the 11th President of WFTU since its establishment in 1945.

At the centre of the celebrations will be about the political and organisational role played by the union in the broader liberation struggles and the gains fought for and won in the workplace in the interests of our members and workers in general. The National Office Bearers will hit the ground running through their programme underpinned by four pillars:

  • Building unity and cohesion across structures at all levels of the national union
  • Reporting back to members about the outcomes of the congress
  • Preparing members for the next round of collective bargaining
  • Improving service to members

This programme is derived from the resolution - Going-back-to-Basics which emphasises the visibility of leadership to members and the listening to members demands and grievances - as part of closing ranks, defending the base and responding to social distance between members and shop stewards.

The immediate issue would be the new round of collective bargaining for public service workers at the PSCBC. This time, we shall not only pay attention on wage increase but also to the items that are in the current agreement which the employer has not implemented. The Minister of Public Service and Administration, Faith Muthambi has made some undertakings in this regard when she addressed our congress. Since the Border Management Authority Bill has been passed by Parliament despite our objections, we shall engage the Minister of Home Affairs, Professor Hlengiwe Buhle Mkhize, to ensure that when it is implemented the terms of the working conditions and interests of our members are protected.

In this regard, in the next two weeks, the union will be finalising its mandating processes in preparation for the next round of wage negotiations in the public service. Whilst on the other hand, following the dispute on the Saturday work between Labour and Department of Home Affairs, parties met on the 3rd - 5th July 2017 to try and find a lasting solution in the interest of service delivery without compromising the right and the well-being our members. Currently, we are taking the new proposals from the employer for consultation with members and the outcome shall be communicated in due course.

The meeting congratulated the ANC for a successful 5th National Policy Conference and the union will study the outcomes in order to prepare for our inputs before the 54th ANC National Conference in December. We hope that the ANC will not be arrogant post the policy conference but to be willing to listen to its alliance partners particularly on convening the Alliance Economic Summit in order to discuss the Labour Market and Macro-Economic Chapters of the National Development Plan (NDP). It is our expectation that the ANC post the 14th National Congress of the SACP will urgently convene an Alliance meeting to discuss the imperative of the functional Alliance as a strategic centre of political power including proposals on the reconfiguration of the Alliance.

As NEHAWU, we wish the SACP a successful and resounding 14th National Congress scheduled to take place on the 10th - 15th July 2017 and hope that the vanguard party will emerge from the congress with a concrete and comprehensive plan to salvage the National Democratic Revolution [NDR].

The NOB's meeting noted the court judgement at The Hague on the matter concerning Sudan's President, Omar al-Bashir and further stressed the need for South Africa to withdraw from the ICC as captured in our resolutions. We support the withdrawal and hope our government will thoroughly follow the relevant constitutional provisions for withdrawal. The meeting also welcomed the resolution on the ANC Policy Conference to downgrade the South African Embassy in Tel Aviv. This resolution must be implemented with immediate effect to send a clear message to apartheid Israel that South Africa stands against the atrocities that are perpetrated against Palestinians on a daily basis.

The meeting condemned the attack on journalists and media freedom by unruly and disorderly forces, this includes the protesting at the houses of journalists. As NEHAWU, we support SANEF in fighting these hooligans and hope that journalists will not be impeded in doing their jobs. As NEHAWU, we can't help but draw similarities between the protest outside the house of Peter Bruce and that of SACP 2nd Deputy General Secretary, Cde Solly Mapaila. Both groupings seems to be linked to the Gupta family and their cronies.

Newly Elected Leadership are:

  • President: Cde Michael Makwayiba
  • 1st Deputy president: Cde Michael Shingange
  • Second Deputy President: Cde Nyameka Macanda
  • National Treasurer: Kgomotso Makhuphola
  • General Secretary: Cde Zola Saphetha
  • Deputy General Secretary: Cde December Mavuso

Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat

Zola Saphetha (General Secretary) at 082 558 5968; December Mavuso (Deputy General Secretary) at 082 558 5969; Khaya Xaba (NEHAWU Media Liaison Officer) at 082 455 2500 or email: khaya@nehawu.org.za Visit NEHAWU website: www.nehawu.org.za

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