Over 90% of the Department of Home Affairs’ offices were not operating on Saturday‚ despite a settlement agreement reached with trade unions just over a week ago‚ the department confirmed.
“The Department wishes to take this opportunity to apologise to the public for the inconvenience caused and put it on record that it is disappointed by these developments as they are not in line with the spirit of the agreement and the resolutions of discussions that took place up to Friday‚” the department said in a statement.
It appealed to the “union leadership to prioritise resolving this matter urgently as agreed with the unions during negotiations”.
“The Public Service Commission‚ the unions and the Department believe quality service delivery to our people is of utmost importance in line with our values.
“We are hopeful this matter will be resolved amicably soon because the public deserves a better service from all of us‚” the department stated.
A planned nationwide strike by Home Affairs’ office workers‚ scheduled to have begun last Monday‚ was called off after the Department agreed to withdraw a circular compelling its staff to work on Saturdays without overtime pay.
This was after months spent by unions and the department in various courts‚ including the Constitutional Court‚ in a bid to resolve the issue.
It was not immediately clear why the majority of workers failed to pitch up for work on Saturday after having reached an agreement with the department.