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Hubert Khobane
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Unions and their mandate

06 June 2014, 16:11

Unions and their mandate.

Within the South African society and the democracy that we are supposed to be in, the role of unions is clearly defined and generally known and accepted.

The Unions are there to represent its members on matters prevalent to their social and economic standing and to negotiate on their behalf in respect of any dispute that is registered which is free and fair and to arrive at a satisfactory and amicable solution to the problem.

Yet some Unions seems to have lost direction, like what we saw in the Elias Motsoaledi Local Council ambit on Thursday 13th February 2014, when a union, was protesting for the continued mandate to retain a municipal manager within the Council.  This in anyone’s language is completely outside of the scope and mandate of a union to function and concentrate on such matters as it has no jurisdiction to act in such matters.

We should ‘get back to basics’ within the spheres of the Unions and act in accordance to the mandate and to as a matter of principle, not get involved in matters, which is and seems as personal agendas and or maybe politically inspired, and outside of its context in any way.

The continued employment of the Municipal Manager being at the discretion and jurisdiction of the relevant council, and as a Union, which may represent the relevant employee, it should stay clear of decisions that is not within its logical sphere of functions.

We should not make fools of ourselves in such a public domain where the credibility and management of a union should be unblemished and it generally accepted that its national executive should at all times be 100% au fait with its mandate and or actions to take at relevant situations, which was definitely lacking in this instance.

There is nothing wrong with the solidarity shown in this case, but its relevance as a union is what should be questioned, and how it acted in the circumstances is totally sub rosa.

So like the saying goes: “Keep to your mandate and work accordingly and you will succeed!”

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