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SAFTU Raises Alarm Over Unpaid Damelin College Workers Amid Management Silence

Published December 26, 2023
7 months ago

In a concerning revelation that highlights the struggles facing educational workers in South Africa, the South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) has voiced significant alarm over the financial duress experienced by staff members of Damelin College, who have now been left uncompensated for over two months. This development is strikingly at odds with the reputable standing of Damelin, an institution known for its long-standing history in private education.

SAFTU's statement exposes a distressing scenario where college lecturers and other staff members have been facing repeated late payments since the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic—a crisis that has already placed substantial economic strains on workers across numerous sectors. The persistence of this issue highlights the vulnerable position educational professionals find themselves in, even as the country seeks to navigate post-pandemic economic recovery.

The union's proactive measures to address this situation have hit a wall, as attempts to engage in a meaningful dialogue with Damelin College management have been met with an ominous silence. This non-engagement raises questions about the institution's commitment to the welfare of its employees and its readiness to resolve this crisis expediently.

Beyond the delays and the absence of payments, SAFTU has brought to light another worrying aspect of this saga—reports of intimidation tactics employed by Damelin College against employees seeking to air their grievances. Such strategies are not only counterproductive to resolving the issue but also constitute a grave infringement on workers' rights to voice their concerns and to seek redress in a professional and secure environment.

The union's disclosure comes against a backdrop of an impending festive season, traditionally a time for family and celebration. Yet, this year, it is marred by financial uncertainty for those employed by Damelin College. The prospect of a bleak Christmas looms large for these workers and their families unless swift action is taken to ensure they are duly compensated for their labor.

Despite persistent attempts by many, including Eyewitness News, the institution's leadership has not come forward with a public response or assurance. The silence from Damelin College serves only to deepen the concerns about the institution's management practices and ethical standing.

SAFTU's continued advocacy and media attention to this issue are vital, particularly as the case of Damelin College may not be an isolated one within the education sector or broader economy. It's a stark reminder of the continued plight that workers may face and the need for relentless pursuit of fair labor practices and employer accountability in South Africa.

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