Africa-Press – South-Africa. The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) says it is “shocked” and “angered” by Minister Aaron Motsoaledi’s intentions to classify the Department of Home Affairs as a security department.
In a statement, the union said it found that the pronouncement was “bordering on populism”. Motsoaledi’s statement came after EFF member Rosina Ntshetsana Komane asked him a question about the reasons the department discontinued working on a Saturday.
In response, he said: “Should we agree, the department will be forced into paying overtime for life/permanent overtime and this is untenable. The department has submitted to Cabinet a Home Affairs Bill which will change the nature of [the] home affairs department into a security department, which is entitled to open…weekends.”
The minister also said discontinuing work on Saturdays affected the department negatively.
But Nehawu said matters pertaining to the conditions of service and scope of work for public servants are discussed at the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC) and at the General Public Service Sector Bargaining Council – not through public pronouncements.
The union urged the minister against preoccupation with media populism and said he should rather focus on the core functions of the department. This includes the administration of the movement of people, identification credentials and rendering quality services to the nation.
“Home Affairs is currently struggling to fill over 9 000 vacant posts and as the union, we have been fighting for the filling of these vacant funded posts in the department.
“We have been raising this matter, including questioning why home affairs is setting aside funds for a Border Management Agency (BMA) whilst they have so many vacant posts to fill, as they impact negatively on service delivery as we see long queues at home affairs.”