Retiree shares apartheid experience

2016-11-16 06:00
Elliot Monosi, a retiree from the Department of Roads and Public Works, shares his experience from years of service during the awards ceremony at the Mittah Seperepere Convention Centre.

Elliot Monosi, a retiree from the Department of Roads and Public Works, shares his experience from years of service during the awards ceremony at the Mittah Seperepere Convention Centre.

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Elliot Monosi from Richie had to leave his own wedding celebration in order to report for work the next day.

Attending an award ceremony in Kimberley and being awarded for completing 30 years of service with the department of Roads and Public Works, Monosi recounted some of his experiences as a black government worker during the apartheid years.

Employed as a clerk at the department, he had to endure tough working conditions, because he had to put food on the table for his family.

“I did not qualify for leave on that most important weekend of my life (getting married).

“Instead of granting me leave for the wedding, my boss deployed me to another province and I had to leave the celebrations behind at my home on the Sunday.

“There was no way of getting out of this, because I was expected to report for duty in Cape Town on Monday,” he said.

Monosi was sharing his past work experience as a clerk with the audience at the Mittah Seperepere Convention Centre on Thursday night (10/11), where he singled out a few sad incidents.

He described his work under the apartheid regime as bitter and full of inequality.

He only felt a sense of belonging after 1994, when he could share work responsibilities, a work title and an office with his white colleagues.

However, he could not claim the same benefits as whites (such as pension funds and other allowances), because during the apartheid years, blacks did not qualify for these.

“I remember when we relocated to another office and I filled in the same claim form as my colleague. I was told that I should not bother, as I do not qualify.

“But all of that is now in the past and I hope all workplaces have adapted to the positive changes.”

He expressed his gratitude for the respect, caring and sense of belonging that he had come to experience in the workplace under the post-apartheid government.

He concluded by observing that mutual respect is a prerequisite for success in the workplace.

The ceremony was graced by Mxolisi Sokatsha, the acting premier, Tiny Chotelo, the MEC of Environmental Affairs, Bongiwe Mbinqi-Gigaba, the MEC for Sports, Arts and Culture, and Mamkie Ximba, the mayor of the Francis Baard District Municipality.

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