Mchunu defends policy to Nehawu

2009-12-14 00:00

THE Kwazulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Willies Mchunu, said his department had good policies and that there will be no changes.

Mchunu was addressing representatives from the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) at a special departmental management committee meeting last Thursday.

In the meeting Nehawu handed over a memorandum to the MEC demanding some changes within the department.

“The policies of this department are sound and were shrewdly conceptua­lised.

“I am therefore not going to effect any policy chan­ges,” said Mchunu.

“In the last four months, I’ve immersed myself in the work of this department. I am able to report that it’s on a sound policy and implementation mode.”

In the memorandum, Nehawu demanded that a forensic investigation be conducted into the financial affairs of the department.

It also alleges that department head Chris Hlabisa has promoted factionalism and divisions within the se­nior ranks of the department, and that he is an autocrat who seeks to undermine the legi­timate right of organised labour to take part in the decision making.

The memorandum further demands that Mawande Jubase, a departmental senior employee, be reinstated on to the department staff.

Sources close to the department allege that Jubase was at one stage suspended and later dismissed from the department for serious offences. He has since been cleared by the court.

Nehawu also questioned an alleged expenditure of more than R500 000 on a jazz concert.

Mchunu maintained that there is no need for a policy change in his department, and cautioned senior managers to heighten cohesion at the top and not allow any remnants of divisions, factionalism and rumour mongering to deter them from marching forward as a solid unit to 2010 and beyond.

He suggested another meeting soon to allow both parties “to thrash out all these matters”.

A source within the department has questioned the credibility of the union’s support for Jubase.

“It has become a pattern that each time Jubase is at the department head office for a hearing regarding serious claims against him by his staff members, Nehawu must want Hlabisa to go.

“I am sure a progressive union like Nehawu cannot or should not promote cases such as those levelled against Jubase,” said the source on condition of anony­mity.

The Nehawu chairman at the head office branch, Vusi Gama, said they will wait for the MEC’s official report on the matters highlighted in the memorandum.

“What we know is that the MEC accepted our memorandum, so we have to wait and respect the processes of dealing with such matters.

“On the Jubase issue, he has an arbitration award to get back to work. If there are individuals with issues with him, then they should take up those issues with him. But legally, he should be at work,” Gama said.

A closed meeting will be held today, attended by senior managers, including those in the labour relations and legal department, and the MEC, to address the matters raised in the memorandum.

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