The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] welcomes the precautionary suspension of the Deputy Director General of Corporate Support Services at the Department of Rural Development and Land Affairs [DRDLR], Mr Eugene Southgate, pending an internal investigation.
NEHAWU wants to take this opportunity to applaud the new leadership of the department for a swift response to our demand of the 14th May 2018 in placing him on suspension. NEHAWU in the department has been very unhappy with him and in past we have had numerous complaints to the senior management about his conduct and victimization of employees.
Amongst the complaints submitted to management was for an immediate investigation into the unilateral introduction of the E-recruitment system by the department. We find it worrisome that the department went ahead and appointed a service provider by the name of Graylink Media [PTY] LTD and there is allegation that this service provider is from Cape Town and it installed the same system for Western Cape Government. It is clear that the implementation of this system is not meant to help the department with its recruitment process nor does it makes it easier for those who seek employment at the department.
We therefore, demand that investigations must take place immediately and we believe that the Deputy Director General, Mr. Eugene Southgate, would be able to provide answers to this debacle as he is the one who appointed the service provider. Furthermore, the department has been pleading poverty as it claims that their budget has been reduced by National Treasury but decided to spend money in outsourcing the recruitment processes.
The system is an internet based recruitment process and according to department this system is meant to replace the manual job application process. As NEHAWU, we raised concerns about the system as we strongly feel that it is unfair because it disadvantages people who reside in rural areas who have no access to the internet. In addition, the system contravenes the existing policy on recruitment and selection as it automatically shortlist and afford no space for supervision of the shortlisting process by trade unions as enshrined in the recruitment policy. Instead responsible managers’ shortlist on their own in their offices without even sitting together. This is a recipe for disaster and it is open to abuse and fraud.
The other downside of this recruitment system is that all job adverts no longer indicate employment equity targets and even the system itself does not indicate or cater for employment equity. NEHAWU demands that the e-recruitment process be immediately stopped and the department must follow both the DPSA and PSCBC processes of regulatory recruitment processes. We find it very alarming that the employer went ahead and implemented the system without addressing our concerns. This behavior not only constitutes bad faith but also a game of dirty tricks as the employer introduced the item for consultation at the Departmental Bargaining Chamber but implemented it before its finalisation at the Chamber.
The employer has been giving labour a monotonous response that so far the system is not violating any regulatory requirements therefore it would not be halted. As a result, there is a deadlock between the national union and the employer. In this regard, the union will not hesitate to declare a dispute if the employer is not willing to budge.
Mr Southgate also appointed Enerst and Young to analyse the departmental structure and alignment of the mandate of the department. As NEHAWU, we are against any form of outsourcing in the public service, hence our rejection of the implemented system by the department. At this point, we want to warn the department not to take workers for granted as the union is prepared to take the bull by its horns in defending the rights of its members and workers in general.
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: email@example.com Visit NEHAWU website: www.nehawu.org.za