NEHAWU Calls For The Investigations At CATHSSETA
Sunday September 13, 2020
The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] notes with disgust and disappointment the intentions by the Culture, Art, Tourism, Hospitality, and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority [CATHSSETA] to renew the contract of the current Chief Executive Officer [CEO].
The CEO is currently busy with retrenching our members and workers at the SETA and this is against the directive issued by the Department of Higher Education and Training [DHET] in March 2020 which halted the termination of workers contracts after the renewal of the SETA Landscape.
The directive further raised serious concerns that the CATHSETA Accounting Authority (AA) decided to conduct an organizational realignment, only a few months before the expiry of its term despite being cautioned by the former CEO regarding the need to bring the administration budget to the required level of below 10.5%. As NEHAWU, we are perplexed and flabbergasted by the inaction by DHET and it raises suspicions as to why the CEO is being protected and currently not facing any punitive measures.
Since her appointment the CEO has gone out of her way to undermine DHET and nothing has been done to bring her to order. We have witnessed the continuous abuse of power and violation of the Public Finance Management Act [PFMA] which has seen her appoint various service providers including the one that has been imposed to deal with unlawful restructuring. CATHSSETA under her leadership has donated R400 000 to a union that does not do any work for the SETA and its scope does not allow it to operate in the SETA. The union is surprised that the current board which has acknowledged this as unlawful and wasteful expenditure has recommended her as a candidate despite wasting of taxpayer’s money.
The SETA has a couple of brokers/consultants who have been hired to perform the same functions performed by ordinary workers and their appointments does not comply with Treasury regulations and guidelines. It’s our view that the CEO’s dreams are about issuing tenders and looting every cent until the SETA collapses.
The CEO and the board further violated the bursary policy wherein they both approved the payment of the CEO’s bursary of R99 000 against the allowed maximum of R54000 while declining to approve bursaries for ordinary staff members, while claiming budgetary constraints. The SETA has a procurement budget of R100 million which the CEO has started issuing out tenders to a very long list of service providers without necessarily accounting properly while retrenching employees, especially those affiliated to NEHAWU because they are exposing her financial mismanagement activities.
The national union has further witnessed maladministration and instability in the SETA under her leadership which has led to the SETA having 6 Chief Financial Officers since 2016. This proves beyond reasonable doubt that she is an autocratic leader who frustrates anyone who does not implement her instruction which might result in them losing their professional qualifications and credentials.
The union calls on the Minister of Higher Education and Training to nullify the recruitment process of the CEO as we believe that the process was manipulated by the board from the advert process to suit the current CEO so that she can continue to shelf all maladministration in the SETA which might implicate them. It is common knowledge that the CEO does not have the required 5-8 years' experience as per the advert as she only started acting as CEO in 2017 and was permanently appointed as the CEO in 2018. She currently does not have a Masters Degree although this is an NQF level 9 post.
NEHAWU supports the call by the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education, Science and Technology in calling on the board and the Minister to put the appointment process of the CEO in abeyance pending an investigation. The national union further calls for a forensic investigation on the following:
- All appointments on senior officials
- Qualification audit on senior management
- All awarded tenders in the past 5 years
- 2019 Financial statements
The union calls on the Minister to urgently intervene at CATHSSETA and ensure that those who are on the wrong are brought to book and this will require the immediate suspension of the board and the CEO to protect the process of investigations without their interference and intimidation of staff. We further call on the Minister to ensure that the renewal of workers contracts takes place in line with the new SETA landscape until 2030.
The union will be available to supply DHET and the Portfolio committee with material evidence including employees who are willing and ready to testify as we have evidence at our disposal. If the Minister fails to act urgently the union unfortunately will make the institution (CATHSSETA) unworkable as it is committed to uprooting corruption whenever it shows its ugly head. At this point, the union will write to the Minister and give an ultimatum of five (5) days to respond otherwise NEHAWU shall not fold its arms and watch the CEO destroy the means to survive of workers as breadwinners and parents for selfish personal interest of amassing resource meant to improve the lives of workers and their families.
Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat
Zola Saphetha (General Secretary) at 082 558 5968;
December Mavuso (Deputy General Secretary) at 082 558 5969;
Khaya Xaba (NEHAWU National Spokesperson) at 082 455 2500