Samwu shows way for members

2017-07-19 06:01
At the graduation ceremony of members of the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) are, from the left, Motsoahole Bodibe (graduate), Pule Molalenyane (president of Samwu), Adv. Lerata Ma-shee (motivational speaker), Moses Miya (union deputy general secretary) and Mmathuto Kekana (gra­duate). Photo: Supplied

At the graduation ceremony of members of the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) are, from the left, Motsoahole Bodibe (graduate), Pule Molalenyane (president of Samwu), Adv. Lerata Ma-shee (motivational speaker), Moses Miya (union deputy general secretary) and Mmathuto Kekana (gra­duate). Photo: Supplied

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The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) has taken a lead role in equipping its members with necessary job skills.

The union’s concerted effort came to fruition when 150 members graduated after the successful completion of programmes relevant to the work they already do in the different municipalities.

Male and female candidates, as providers for their families, received NQF level 4 certificates of competency by the Education and Training Practices Sector Education and Authority (ETDP Seta).

The graduates walked down the red carpet at a ceremony held recently in Bloemfontein.

Pule Molelenyane, president of Samwu, said the 150 graduates were the first group of employees enrolled at the union’s college.

He said the union undertook to capacitate workers, belie-ving that skilled employees are a cornerstone in rendering much-needed quality service to the community.

“The graduation of members is a stepping stone in the right direction in improving and rendering quality delivery to the community who are paying for services and, indirectly, the salaries of the workers. We owe it to the community,” he said.

The qualifications were recognised by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).

Molalenyane said the union saw it as compelling to capacitate workers due to the fact that municipalities fail to capacitate employees to render better services to the community which they answer to.

“The lack by municipalities in rendering quality service to the public is due to a lack of skilled and unqualified engineers, artisans and plumbers, which are fundamental to meeting the mandate of the community.

“So, as the union, we took it upon ourselves to provide quality education and training in the various fields for members and shop stewards with the sole purpose of addressing this challenge.

“I proposed this idea last year after being elected as the president, because I have a vision that the community deserves better,” he said.

Molalenyane said this was the first group of graduates from the union’s college, adding that the next group of more than 200 studying through the union’s college will graduate soon.

Molalenyane said that to produce a capable and qualified labour force in line with the vision, partnerships were formed with established institutions like the University of the Western Cape, the University of the Free State, the Local Government Sector Education and Training Authority (LG Seta) and the Energy and Water Sector Education and Training Authority (EW Seta).

“We have partnered with these institutions to produce a crop of workers that will improve the lives of our people in rendering quality services,” he said.

Identifying people and relevant programmes was done through the use of a wise skills plan.

“Most of our members are working in those divisions already and we enrolled them in programmes relevant to their duties.

“Through this plan, we could identify shortages and needs. Subsequently, questionnaires were sent to members to come forth with relevant training interventions.

“Very important is that those qualified should bear in mind that the skills and qualifications are meant to improve the lives of the community.

“Shop stewards and union members should bear in mind that corruption is zero tole­rance and they have been trained to be against corruption.

“They should know that skill is investment by the community, which pays for services, which in return pays for their salaries.

“Biases should be towards the community they serve. Local government is an institution of the community. The bosses of the municipalities is the community that is paying for services.

“With this we are creating a local government that is caring, unlike this day and era, where governments, authorities and councillors do not care about the communities, but only themselves,” said Molalenyane.

He said further training will focus on litigation, labour relations and labour law.

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