All public servants employed to render essential service who were participating in the nation-wide strike action led by the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU) should adhere to the strike’s interdict ruling by the Labour Appeal’s Court (LAC).
On Monday, the Labour Appeal’s Court interdicted all NEHAWU members employed in essential services in areas such as the Department of Health, the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA), Special Investigating Unit (SIU) and the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) among others.
Public Service and Administration Director-General, Ms Yoliswa Makhasi, issued a circular to all essential services employees employed in the public service and Heads of Departments and Institutions regarding the LAC ruling to interdict the NEHAWU strike.
“In terms of the LAC interdict, all essential services employees must refrain from participating in any strike action and return to work with immediate effect. The LAC order remains in force until the final determination of the appeal against the Labour Court order interdicting the NEHAWU strike action.
“The DPSA therefore instructed all essential services employees in the public service that they are strictly prohibited from striking in terms of the Labour Relations Act (the LRA).
“The strike action, picket, or any other form of industrial action by NEHAWU, its members and employees who are employed in an essential service and all such essential service employees are restrained and prevented from continuing with or participating in any such strike, picket, or any other form of industrial action.
“The strike action, picket, or any other form of industrial action by NEHAWU, its members and employees employed at SASSA, SIU and SANBI which commenced on 6 March 2023 is interdicted with immediate effect and NEHAWU and all employees are restrained and prevented from continuing with or participating in the strike action,” she said.
Ms Makhasi also appealed to NEHAWU to inform its members and officials and all persons to whom it had given notice of the strike in every province, including, but not limited to every hospital and clinic in South Africa about the LAC ruling.
The DG said all employees must refrain from any unlawful conduct during the strike action.
“Unlawful conduct includes engaging in any form of violence, damage to State property, obstructing or intimidating other employees, members of the public or vehicles from entering or leaving the departments or institutions.
“Any employee who fails to comply with the court order will be subjected to disciplinary action, including possible dismissal.
“Any person committing any criminal acts in pursuit of strike action will be subjected to criminal proceedings by the relevant law enforcement authorities. The principle of ‘no work, no pay’ will be strictly applied.
“All Heads of Department are urged to ensure that the necessary strike management procedures articulated more fully in previous DPSA circulars are adhered to; ensure that this circular is communicated to all departments and institutions and essential services employees; and contact the South African Police Services for any assistance where criminal conduct is reported or anticipated to prevent loss of life, damage to state property or any other harm to person or property,” she said.
Any non-compliance with the above court order will necessitate contempt proceedings.