27 April, 2016: The long-awaited SADC Secretariat Staff Association was established during a Staff Meeting held at the SADC Headquaters. Mr. Mojakisane Mathaha, Programme Officer – ICP Coordination, who was also part of the preparatory team and a member of the SADC Staff Ideas, Suggestions and Concerns Task Team spoke at the launch about the background and rationale for a SADC Staff Association, the preparation of the draft rules for the new Association.
Mr. Mathaha noted that the establishment of the Staff Association is sanctioned by Council as a platform for staff to dialogue with the Secretariat's management on issues affecting staff in the workplace. More importantly, the Staff Association will assist management and staff to ensure that the Secretariat effectively carries out its mandate.
Among other things, the Staff Association will aim to defend and promote the professional, economic and social interests of its members in the employment of SADC, particularly by satisfactory regulation, improvement and maintenance of conditions of employment, work and welfare.
Mr. Mathaha made reference to good practice existing in other international organisations such as the UN, ILO and the EU, where staff associations facilitate and address issues including: Equality and Fairness in the workplace; Communication and feedback between management & staff; Work-life balance; Conflict prevention and resolution; Social security and emotional support; Contractual matters (job-grading, promotions etc); Career development; Occupational safety and health; and Harassment, favouritism, victimisation and discrimination in the workplace.
At the same occasion, Mr. Ramoletane Lekhanya - SADC Webmaster - facilitated by secret ballot, the election of the new committee members. The office bearers are as follows: Joseph Mthetwa, Mojakisane Mathaha, Mpono Mosaase, Jeronimo Mandlate, Vasanti Jaddoo, Omphemetse Lesetedi and Dimpho Majaha.
The Committee will allocate functional responsibilities at its first sitting, and will communicate the functions and the corresponding designated office bearers.