Sassa strike begins as minister meets Nehawu to resolve impasse

The ruling essentially puts the ball in the Department of Social Development’s court. Legislation is needed to address the nefarious deductions that have been endemic across South Africa, affecting millions of beneficiaries. Photo: Moneyweb

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) said it would press on with a national strike at South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) offices across the country on Wednesday even as its officials were set to meet social development minister Susan Shabangu over its grievances.

The union is protesting the overall processing of social grants disbursements, arguing that the migration of the payment system from Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) to the South African Post Office was done unilaterally by the department.

It says the new system has introduced a raft of challenges which do not form part of the job description for administrative workers and for which they were neither trained nor compensated. The union says this migration has also opened the system up to easy manipulation, fraud and corruption.

Nehawu general secretary Zola Saphetha said the strike would run indefinitely until Sassa management meet their demands. He said some union members were receiving threats against taking part in the strike.

“The national union notes with disgust the attempt by the management to intimidate our members and workers from exercising their constitutional right to go on a strike action. However, we are not deterred by silly threats because we hold a strong view that our demands are both genuine and reasonable,” Saphetha added.

He said Shabangu had requested an urgent meeting with Nehawu to try and resolve the impasse.

“We will give the minister audience and hope that this impending engagement will unearth a suitable solution to the crises facing beneficiaries and our members,” said Saphetha.

African News Agency (ANA) / The Citizen