Workers cry foul over Ters
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Workers cry foul over Ters

Workers cry foul over Ters

By Asanda Sokanyile Time of article published 23m ago

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Cape Town – A Corruption Watch report has validated the claims of many South Africans who have cried foul over the non-payment of their Temporary Relief Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (Ters).

Thousands of employees, like Siphamandla Maseti, a security guard from Delta Corporation Security Services, said their employers had not paid them what is due to them.

Maseti said the Department of Labour had confirmed that the funds had been paid out to employees as part of the Ters funding.

“We went there to submit our own claims because our manager Mr Waleed kept telling us that the company never received the money. We were told that the funds had been paid out to the company so we could not claim for it, but when we returned to the company, we got threatened with dismissals,” he said.

A random check of a few of the Delta security employees on the Ters website shows processed payments of between R3 452 and R3 456 per employee since March last year. However, employees said that they have never received a penny of the funds.

According to the 126 reported cases of alleged Ters corruption identified in the Corruption Watch report, Gauteng recorded 57 cases, the Western Cape 15 and KwaZulu-Natal 12. In the big metropolitan municipalities, the City of Joburg leading the way with 30, followed by the City of Tshwane 18, City of Cape Town 14 and eThekwini 9.

After releasing the report on Monday, head of legal and investigations for Corruption Watch Karam Singh said it was interesting to note that among the industry sectors represented were private security services, food and beverage services, fuel sales (petrol stations), transport and logistics and construction.

Waleed Davids, a Delta senior manager, refuted all allegations made by more than 10 of the company’s employees saying: “I feel the allegations raised by these employees are fruitless and frivolous because if they have any issues relating to their employment, they can meet with me to discuss. If they are not satisfied with my explanation, they can always speak to the other area manager and our admin person, who will also be in a position to assist them. If all else fails, they still have the department of labour and the CCMA to their disposal. These are people that have the power to assist them.”

CCMA director Cameron Morajane confirmed that four cases had been referred to them over the last 12-month period by Delta Corporation Services employees.

One case of unfair conduct was settled, a case of basic conditions of employment act issues which was also settled, and two cases of unfair dismissal, one withdrawn and one pending.

Viwe Diholo, who worked for Astron refinery, said the refinery had stopped making payments to workers of nine different companies in May last year, citing that all contracts had been terminated as of the end of April after workers received R800 payouts.

“We were told to stop working as of March 26th, as per directives from the president. We were also then told that we would get paid through the Ters funding, but that never happened. Now we are stuck, unable to get normal UIF, not able to apply for the special R350 grant while the company is refusing to pay us what is due to us,” he said.

Astron spokesperson, Suzanne Pullinger, said: “The individuals concerned were working for contracting companies at the Astron Energy refinery in Milnerton. They were not directly employed by Astron Energy. As the individuals are not employed by us, we cannot comment on their future employment.”

Spokesperson for the Department of Labour, David Esau, confirmed that they had “received requests for investigations into subcontractors for Astron and is currently working with the affected parties on the matter”.

Esau could not confirm the status of the investigation or give exact number of Ters-related complaints in the province. Esau also could not confirm any complaints lodged by employees of Delta Corporation.

Weekend Argus

Original Article

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