The relationship between Nehawu and SACP has not served any purpose to over 2000 workers employed in various sector education and training authorities (SETAs) where Nehawu enjoys being the only player. One would expect such a relationship to strengthen the SACP, but sadly, workers have a different tale to tell.
The redeployment of Minister Blade Nzimande back to Higher Education & Training has been recorded as a huge disappointment to the entire SETA community, including training providers and employers who contribute to Skills Development Levy to different SETAs. Nehawu has openly supported Nzimande at the expense of its members, disregarding its members’ job security in the process.
Efforts by workers to expose maladministration, corruption, nepotism, and cronyism are continuously downplayed by the union’s top brass. Such has cascaded down to the union’s provincial and regional office bearers. The never-ending appetite for positions by regional office bearers has seen workers continuously compromised and jobs being lost in numbers. In a country marred by the ever-growing unemployment rate, Nehawu seems to be instrumental in sacrificing its own members.
When the CR17 campaign was launched, Nehawu invested its financial resources in supporting the campaign. National executive committee members of the union were vocal about their love for Cyril Ramaphosa, even convincing workers that corruption will be decisively dealt with. The current state of affairs where Ramaphosa is concerned tells a different story. We were used. Workers’ financial contributions were used to escalate a multi-billionaire who has started showing his true colors.
It is clear that the CR17 campaign was also a vehicle for Nzimande to return to Higher Education to continue where he left off before he was sacked by President Jacob Zuma. His return to the department is a winning ticket for Nehawu as they benefitted immensely from the SETAs. National Executive Committee (NEC) members of the union serve on SETA boards where they are known to take decisions that are detrimental to their own constituency. This is a system designed to benefit individuals in the union.
Nehawu is not able to stand up against SETAs because they will expose the SACP. Board members, chief executives, and senior management, all have links to the SACP. Below are a few examples:
- The chief executive officer of the Educational, Training and Development Practices Sector Education and Training Authority (ETDP SETA) Nombulelo Nxesi is the wife of Employment and labour Minister Thulas Nxesi. A Nehawu NEC member sits on the board of ETDP SETA.
- Gugu Dlamini, wife to Deputy Minister Sdumo Dlamini was until recently chief executive officer at Local Government (LG SETA).
- Construction SETA board chairperson is allegedly related to Minister Nzimande
- Services SETA ministerial appointee is Nolwandle Mantashe, wife of ANC national chairperson and Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe.
- Technical and vocational education and training college (TVET) chairpersons are members of the SACP and also enjoy being employed in the SETAs
All of this was thoroughly thought of when Nzimande took over the SETAs. It is worth noting that all politicians who continue to benefit in the SETA system were once President Zuma’s praise singers until the fall out between Nzimande and Zuma. The SACP was then used as a platform to bash Zuma to secure Nzimande’s supper and position in the so-called New Dawn.
Workers are not entirely excited by this New Dawn as there’s nothing new about Nzimande being redeployed in the SETAs. If Nzimande and company stand for clean governance, why have they taken a decision to attack Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane? Could it be, they are not happy with the fact that she’s investigating at least four SETAs and we know that the graft being investigated took place during Nzimande’s tenure with Nehawu in full view?
South Africans must connect the dots and not be whitewashed by the continuous attack on Mkhwebane. Nehawu has failed to protect its members against SACP, workers have been left to fight their own battles, pay their own legal costs as they are continuously told the union does not have money. In some instances, members represent themselves because the union claims it does not have the capacity to do so.
This is the same union that buys properties for NEC members, appoint relatives as service providers and even bought the now Deputy Minister Slovo Majola a luxurious SUV while its members continue to suffer. We don’t expect much from Ramaphosa because he doesn’t have a political base, hence his love for SACP and Nehawu because he appreciates the noise they make on his behalf. Workers in the SETAs are doomed.
This opinion piece was authored by a group calling itself Concerned SETA Employees who preferred to remain anonymous for fear of victimisation. Views expressed do not necessarily represent those of Africa News 24-7