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By Cheryl Kahla

Content Strategist

Nehawu strike goes ahead on Monday, despite labour interdict

Nehawu said the strike demonstrates the importance of public servants. Essential services such as healthcare and education, will be affected.

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU) expressed its disappointment with the ruling of the labour court and said the public service strike will proceed as planned.

The court granted the interdict to the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) without providing substantial reasons for the judgment.

NEHAWU said it filed an application for leave to appeal.

Service strike continues

Meanwhile, Cosatu on Monday reminded members it is a protected strike: “The filing of the appeal effectively suspends the order. As such, the strike is proceeding today.

NEHAWU union met on Sunday afternoon to discuss legal complications and suitable recourse for commencing with the public service strike.

The union has filed an application for leave to appeal to allow the strike to proceed as planned on March 6, 2023, until the leave to appeal is determined.

This means that Section 18 of the Superior Courts Act 10 of 2013 kicks in, which automatically suspends the operation of the court order until the leave to appeal is determined.

Hard work undone

According to the union, the government has prioritised reversing and erasing the progress made by workers in previous years.

This is clear by government’s eagerness to approach labour courts in resolving matters of collective bargaining, instead of communicating with various institutions and bargaining councils involved.

Moreover, NEHAWU says workers are still undervalued and forced to work in poor conditions, despite being the backbone of South Africa.

Public servants not appreciated

NEHAWU says public service in South Africa weakened significantly, particularly when it comes to capacity.

This, it says, is due to the moratorium on filling vacancies resulting from years of Treasury’s austerity measures.

This is why the union is determined to continue with the public protest on Monday, to demonstrate the seriousness of the matter to government.

The union wants to emphasise to government the importance of recognising and valuing the crucial role of public servants who are on the frontlines of service delivery, and not underestimate their significance.

Impact of public service strike

The public service strike will affect essential services, such as healthcare, education, social services, as well as municipal services.

While it remains uncertain how the government will react to the strike, NEHAWU’s stance is resolute:

Public service workers will not tolerate further assaults on their rights and working conditions, and their voices will be heard.

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