NSFAS workers on strike for higher wages

National Student Financial Aid Scheme workers protested outside their offices in Wynberg, Cape Town. (Bernard Chiguvare/GroundUp)

National Student Financial Aid Scheme workers protested outside their offices in Wynberg, Cape Town. (Bernard Chiguvare/GroundUp)

About 200 employees of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) are demanding higher salaries and other improvements.

The workers, who claimed management had failed to meet demands submitted by their union, the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) in September 2017, protested outside NSFAS’s offices in Wynberg, Cape Town, on Tuesday, reported GroundUp.

Protesters danced, chanted slogans, sang and waved placards.

Among their demands were higher minimum salaries, promotion for cleaners, medical aid for parents of employees, permanent employment for workers on contract, and an end to “abuse of power and prostitution for jobs”.

“NSFAS has been playing hide and seek. Nehawu has decided to take workers out of the workplace as we believe [it] is the language the employer would understand,” Nehawu regional secretary Baxolise Mali told protesters.

“If we do not get a response by Friday, we will call other branches to join the strike,” said Mali.

Linda Mcetywa, Nehawu chairperson of the iKapa south region, said the union was aware that students who depended on NSFAS would suffer.

“It is a way of forcing them to join us in this protest so that our demands are met.”

The demands were handed to NSFAS CEO Steven Zwane. He said management would look into workers’ demands.

“Their right to go on strike is respected. We believe we will be able to find common ground soonest.” — GroundUp

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