GBV remains a shameful stain on our democracy – a stain that fed-up South Africans want blotted out completely. NTEU continues to add its voice the cries of, “Enough!”.
NTEU is encouraged that Higher Education, Science and Innovation (DHESI) Minister, Dr Nzimande, acknowledged the other pandemic tearing away at South African households, especially the recognition of the obstacles that patriarchal systems erect in the struggle of our country’s efforts to eliminate violence and harassment from our realities.
NTEU supports the concept that a safe environment is fundamental to the country fulfilling its mandate of providing access to quality post school education for all South Africans and welcomes the onus of greater responsibility on PSET institutions. Due to the lack of external accountability countless careers, relationships and families have been devastated by workplace abuse. Unequal levels in power and those willing exercise that power for their own sickening benefit is a sour reality in the history of South African higher education.
NTEU General Secretary, Mr Grant Abbott, noted the framework as a positive step forward in the overall fight against GBV and harassment. “We recognise this as a buy-in from the department. We must now ensure the same from the rest.”, said Abbott, referring to how the framework’s effectiveness will heavily depend on those in the workplace to bring its values to life. “We are all responsible for creating and enabling safe work environments for ourselves and our colleagues.”, said Abbott.
NTEU will be looking closely at management and how they incorporate this framework into their institutions of higher learning with calls for labour representation at any committee tasked with the adoption and implementation of this policy - as stakeholders in staff safety.
“NTEU and FEDUSA further calls for the ratification of Convention 190 which seeks to root out all forms of violence and harassment, regardless of the conditions of your employment, your work environment or any other convenient excuse to pass the buck”, said NTEU spokesperson and FEDUSA Gender Champion, Mr Jako Nel. “We no longer make excuses for inexcusable behavior, allow for loopholes nor will we continue to accept environments of fear. Ratifying Convention 190 tells South Africans that government hears us.”, he continued.
NTEU and the federation supports the concept of “See something, say something” and commits to championing the values captured within the policy document by the minister.
If you are dealing with harassment or GBV in your workplace, or have knowledge of such behaviour, please reach out to us on the NTEU Tip-off platform. Information submitted will be confidential and private.