The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) and the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) have committed to speed up the implementation of a labour agreement aimed at improving conditions for workers.

This comes after the department held a meeting with the union on Monday to strengthen working relations.

“The meeting was a continuation of the engagements between the two parties to implement clauses of the signed agreement following a labour strike earlier in the year. The two parties agreed to the speedy implementation of the agreement in the interest of both parties.

“Furthermore, there was an agreement that the agreed to task team should rather be reduced in size to three members per side. The task team will then take forward the outstanding work, including issues surrounding the workers in Kakamas, and reconvene with the bigger team in two weeks for an update,” the department said in a statement.

Deborah Mochotlhi, acting Director-General for the Department of Water and Sanitation noted that she was encouraged by Nehawu’s General Secretary Zola Saphetha’s, sense of direction so far, and that the teams will work together to “shape and steer the department in the preferred direction”.

The meeting also emphasised that the department is central to the basic needs of South Africans, hence it needs to do more to stimulate the economy and create jobs.

“The country could fail if DWS does not deliver on its mandate. In the same vein, the participation of the youth and women remains critical,” Mochotlhi said.

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