09 November 2020




The National Union of Public Service and Allied Workers (NUPSAW) representing the majority of workers at the Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority (TCTA) writes with absolute dissatisfaction by the TCTA’s management unreasonable effort to ruthlessly dismiss its black employees. TCTA black workers have been experiencing extreme hostility during COVID-19 lockdown.


TCTA is one of the State-owned enterprises that was originally established as a special purpose vehicle to fulfil South Africa’s agreement obligations in respect of the Lesotho Highland water project. Its establishment was in line with government policy and practices to seek off-balance sheet funding options for infrastructure projects, which can recover their costs through end-user tariffs.


TCTA’s management has not only been ruthless but hostile to employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. A 41-year-old black female professional has just been dismissed and became a victim of this hostility as she severely suffered ill-treatment, victimization and discrimination based on her physical disability. There is no reasonable explanation for why her contract has been terminated as management failed dismally to give reasons in line with the organization policies. The dismissed employee is a qualified chartered accountant and has been in the employ of TCTA for 5 years. In addition to that, TCTA’s management has gone out of its way to render this particular employee’s position redundant, to an extent of even appointing a new individual to perform some duties. This takes place on the backdrop of all executive contracts being renewed and some have been renewed more than five times despite the previous board’s mandate to never renew such contracts. The current TCTA board has also raised concerns of TCTA not meeting the Employment Equity (EE) requirement standards.


NUPSAW demands that:

  1. NUPSAW demands disclosure of information on the policy that sets the conditions for termination and renewal of employment contracts in the organization
  2. TCTA refrains from discriminatory practices by reinstating our member whose full-time contract of employment has been terminated
  3. TCTA furnishes the worker with a valid contract of employment detailing terms and conditions of employment.
  4. TCTA gives a detailed explanation as to why our member has never been issued with a contract of employment as it is a basic minimum legal requirement of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act. TCTA’s management must refrain from using Offer Letters as Employment Agreements because offer letters do not have any legal obligations and do not create a contract between employer and employee.


NUPSAW condemns in the strongest terms the actions undertaken by the TCTA. NUPSAW will not allow TCTA’s management to continue and significantly delay complying with the Constitution of South Africa, and all legislations that regulate labour relations in South Africa.


NUPSAW will not hesitate to engage with relevant authorities such as the Department of Employment and Labour to intervene in this matter. We do not get any joy from TCTA.  NUPSAW has taken a position to escalate TCTA’s discriminatory practices with the Office of the Public Protector, the Water and Sanitation Minister and the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities Minister whilst running with the CCMA process. Other than that, the unfair dismissal of our member will be challenged at the CCMA.



For more information:


Kagiso Makoe

NUPSAW Media Officer


Austin Mofyoa

NUPSAW Gauteng Organiser

071 508 8461