“After numerous attempts by Nehawu to avert the strike and followed by a nationwide consultation process of all our members we have come to a conclusion that, given the inability to resolve the impasse between Nehawu and SASSA in the boardroom, picket lines are the necessary way to go in trying to twist the arm of employer in order to concede to our demands,” said the union’s secretary of Zola Saphetha.

Saphetha said the biometric identity access and management for staff as initially presented to workers by management has resulted in unhappiness and anxiety among workers because the biometric enrollments of beneficiaries is a new function that workers were not consulted on and the employer implemented unilaterally.

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“The system has numerous flaws which are at the detriment of beneficiaries who rely on social grants. We have raised concerns about the biometric system and have continuously warned SASSA about the huge impact it would have on the 17 million beneficiaries,” concluded Saphetha.