Hundreds of NUMSA members brought traffic to a standstill in the Pretoria CBD when they marched through the streets to protest against the Road Accident Fund. Workers at the RAF have been on strike since yesterday to highlight the crisis at the organization.
The RAF is paralysed by mismanagement and incompetence and as NUMSA we will not tolerate this situation anymore. Currently this institution owes over R8 billion rand in debt to its creditors. Workers are forced to work without basic tools required for them to do the work of processing compensation for the most vulnerable sectors of our society because of gross mismanagement.
Below are just some of the demands that we expect the Transport minister to respond to:
1. Workers want a full investigation into the day to day running of the RAF. Primarily the non-payment of legal bills which result in property being attached. This results in workers being without basic equipment such as chairs, and computers and it prevents workers from being able to do their work.
2. Declaration of conflict of interest by the RAF management. We demand good governance and senior managers must declare if they have a relationship with service providers.
3. We demand an investigation into all senior staff to establish whether they have the right qualifications for the jobs they hold. Our managers frequently fail to implement the mandate of the RAF.
4. We want the RAF forensic department to publish the report into ghost employees. We believe some of these fake employees are parasitic and are milking the resources of the RAF
5. Accounting firm Deloitte & Touché released a report into salary scales of the employees. It has made recommendations about correcting some of the salary imbalances and the RAF is refusing to implement this policy. NUMSA is demanding a living wage for all workers, and we demand that the salaries be adjusted to meet the basic needs of the workers.
6. RAF has high staff turnover and the majority of these employees are not replaced. We want key posts to be filled.
7. Unfair Labour practices within the RAF. The RAF suspended the Bargaining Council of the organization and is refusing to engage with workers on critical matters.
Until these issue are addressed the strike will continue. Workers are raising critical issues which cannot be dismissed by the RAF or the department of Transport.
As NUMSA we are disappointed that the Transport minister herself was not there to receive the memorandum, but we are not surprised. We are dealing with a government which for the last two decades has demonstrated complete disdain for the poor and the working class of this country. The very fact that they are not taking the crisis at RAF seriously proves this. The ANC doesn’t care if people do not receive their RAF pay outs.
You just have to look at the various scandals we have had in the last three months – the social grants SASSA debacle; the handling of the mental patients at Life Esidimeni; Eskom’s plans to shut down power plants and #FeesMustFall and you will realize that the ANC hates the poor and the working class. In fact for the last two decades the governing has been systematically attacking the poor and the working class of South Africa.
That is why as the largest metalworkers union in South Africa, NUMSA will fight on behalf of workers. We will always defend workers’ rights. We are calling on all workers to rally behind NUMSA and defend workers’ rights.
Organiser or starve!
Issued by Irvin Jim
General Secretary NUMSA