The National Union of Public Service and Allied Workers is utterly dismayed by the conduct of the acting CEO of the Government Pension Administration Agency (GPAA), which borders on abuse of power.
We have learnt with shock that our members employed in the pension administration agency are being bullied, intimidated and racially abused by the acting CEO Shahid Khan. Since his appointment back in August 2020, the levels of adherence to occupational health and safety dropped significantly, not to mention the violation of Covid-19 protocols.
The latest incident relates to the last week’s water cuts which came as a result of maintenance upgrades by the water utility – Randwater. As a result of that, several departments announced that workers should either work until lunch time or not report for work altogether as the absence of water would contravene the occupational health and safety regulations. It would have rendered the working environment uninhabitable and risk the spread of Covid-19.
We engaged the employer to ensure that they put a contingency plan in place – and supply water, failing which we would advise our members to go home for their own safety.
The employer failed to make the most vital resource (water) available but expected workers to report for duty. This in our observation did not only violate OHS and Covid-19 regulations, but also breached the right to human dignity as enshrined in our constitution. Can you imagine working in an office where bathrooms are clogged, no clean drinkable water and as you can imagine, the stench that would render the building completely uninhabitable.
NUPSAW has noted that the acting CEO is now targeting our members. He has appointed a law-firm to investigate the role of shop stewards in safeguarding the rights and interests of the workers on the day in question.
We are therefore, calling for Khan to step down with immediate effect.
Not only has he flouted key safety regulations, but we have also learnt that he has racially abused some of the workers. He has reportedly referred to some black people suing the K-word.
He must step down now before the wrath of the workers reign down on him and the institution. We have written a letter to the finance minister Enoch Godongwana, to implore him to intervene and restore stability at GPAA.
We expect a response from the minister within 7-working days, pronouncing that Khan will be stepping down before the end of this year, failing which, we will take to the streets and render the GPAA ungovernable.