Social Development Minister Susan Shabangu has requested a meeting with NEHAWU in a bid to address the strike.
The National Health and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU) has implemented a shutdown of all South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) on Wednesday, 10 October 2018.
NEHAWU said this was due to, among other things, problems from the biometric enrolment of beneficiaries.
“The strike comes as a result of the refusal by the SASSA management to resolve the challenges brought about by the migration of the social grant payment system from Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) to the South African Post Office (SAPO),” NEHAWU general secretary Zola Saphetha said.
“These challenges include the introduction of biometric enrolment of beneficiaries and staff, grant business process and socpen (social pension) fraud”
A new biometric payment system was launched by The Department of Social Development in May, in a bid to improve the social grants system.
While the shutdown will go ahead as planned, the union will be meeting with Social Development Minister Susan Shabangu.
“The national strike will run indefinitely up until all our demands are met by the SASSA management. The national union notes with disgust the attempt by the management to intimidate our members and workers from exercising their constitutional right to go on a strike action. However, we are not deterred by silly threats because we hold a strong view that our demands are both genuine and reasonable”, said Saphetha.
Saphetha further added that: “The Minister of Social Development, Honourable Susan Shabangu, has requested an urgent meeting with NEHAWU to try and resolve the impasse. As NEHAWU, we will give the Minister audience and hope that this impending engagement will unearth a suitable solution to the crises facing beneficiaries and our members”
The union is calling for the biometric enrolment of beneficiaries to be suspended and a job evaluation in the grants administration be undertaken, among other things.