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Sassa hopes talks will avert looming Nehawu strike

Nehawu has accused the agency of undermining the Labour Act by ignoring processes in the inclusion of beneficiary biometric enrolment as a key performance area for officials.

South African Social Security Agency in Pretoria. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) says its hopeful that further discussions with the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) in the next week will resolve employee issues that form the basis of a looming national strike by the union.

Nehawu has accused the agency of undermining the Labour Act by ignoring processes in the inclusion of beneficiary biometric enrolment as a key performance area for officials.

Sassa spokesperson Paseka Letsatsi says they will meet with union leaders soon.

“We can safely say the meeting was scheduled to take place last week, however, because of certain commitments, it was postponed and we’re hopeful it will take place before the end of this [coming] week.”

Sassa also says it doesn't want to jeopardise ongoing talks with unions by over-commenting on the threat of a national strike.

Letsatsi says: “We think it’s not advisable for us to say certain things to the media because we want to respect the processes between us and the leadership of Nehawu.”

He says they are hopeful the ongoing discussion will yield results.

“The interests of the beneficiaries are very important to both management and the leadership of Nehawu as we’re hopeful that the management and Nehawu will be able to agree on issues which are being raised.”

Nehawu, which is demanding the suspension of the biometric enrolment programme, says its begun mobilising its members to go on strike on 10 October.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)

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