Cosatu backs Nehawu on water strike, slams Nomvula Mokonyane

08 March 2018 - 13:54 By Penwell Dlamini
Nomvula Mokonyane. File photo.
Nomvula Mokonyane. File photo.
Image: KEVIN SUTHERLAND / SUNDAY TIMES

The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) says it fully backs the strike by members of the National Education‚ Health and Allied Workers Union in the department of Water and Sanitation.

The strike began on Thursday after negotiations collapsed between Nehawu and the employer.

This New Era that is being championed by President Cyril Ramaphosa will be stillborn if he continues to pander to mediocrity and ineptitude.

“This is an unnecessary strike that has been triggered by the bureaucratic arrogance and an ill-informed unilateralism by the department leadership. We commend Nehawu for pushing back against this mediocrity and arrogance and we fully support the workers in their fight.

“We call on minister Gugile Nkwinti to provide the necessary leadership and engage with workers on their legitimate and reasonable demands. This strike also proves us right on our assertion that the recycling of incompetent ministers is a recipe for disaster. Some of these ministers are fatigued and have nothing new to offer‚ while some are just plain corrupt and incompetent‚” said Cosatu in its official statement.

Thousands of water and sanitation staff members went on strike on Thursday‚ protesting alleged corruption within the department.

Nehawu members are demanding better working conditions and an end to outsourcing. The union claims that former minister of the department Nomvula Mokonyane used outsourcing of services‚ ranging from cleaning to dam construction‚ to milk the department’s coffers dry.

Cosatu supports Nehawu’s demands.

“They (the department of Water and Sanitation) are going to be exposed because workers are ready and willing to fight back. There is no convincing reason why minister Nomvula Mokonyane is still a member of the cabinet‚ after the havoc and chaos she left behind at the department of Water and Sanitation. This New Era that is being championed by President Cyril Ramaphosa will be stillborn if he continues to pander to mediocrity and ineptitude.

“We urge the workers to keep their unity and not be defocused by the sectarian differences because the only weapon they have to improve their wages and conditions of employment is their unity… The fight against employer arrogance and corruption belongs to all the workers. Workers should be foot soldiers in the fight against corruption because if we do not support each other on the picket line‚ we will meet each other in the unemployment line‚” Cosatu said.


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