Hon House Chairperson, while the current government pretends to be against the exploitation of workers, their actions are contrary to what they pronounce on public platforms, such as the state of the nation address and others. The exploitation of workers taking place at the newly launched University of Mpumalanga is indeed disturbing and we need to condemn it in the strongest terms.
When this university was established last year, more than 200 employees from the Lowveld College of Agriculture were incorporated into the university. This number of employees includes lecturers and farm workers who had previously been attached to the college for many years.
These employees are now unsure of whether they are permanent or not, and the university is not coming forward to clarify this matter. The staff from the Lowveld College of Agriculture do not appear in the structure or organogram of the University of Mpumalanga and they are still on their old salary scales. The Government Employees Medical Scheme, Gems, has for some reason been withdrawn since these employees were incorporated into the University of Mpumalanga. The Government Employees Pension Fund, GEPF, has also released them and they are struggling to access their pensions or even transfer them to their new station. The University of Mpumalanga does not want to give these employees permanent employment contracts and they do not even know their service conditions. Where is the good story to tell here?
As we speak, these employees who were previously attached to the Lowveld College of Agriculture are uncertain about their future. [Interjections.] No! No howlers, please! To the grammar teachers ...