The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) is set to challenge the looming retrenchment of more than 150 workers by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS).

Nehawu says the country’s high unemployment rate and the COVID-19 pandemic are factors that should deter employers from retrenching staff.

The SABS says the retrenchments would help the financially challenged institution to save costs of about R150 million.

The SABS was placed under administration in 2018. Its ledger has not improved since then.

Nehawu’s Tshwane chairperson, Mohola Maremela, says workers cannot be blamed for the institution’s financial woes.

“The SABS has failed to renew three certifications that could generate additional income to the institution. There are issues with the organisational reviews, skills reviews that are in place. They’re saying those issues must be completed before the employer could go and finalise their own retrenchment process. As for now, we also agreed that the SABS management has no mandate as there’s no board or CEO in place to oversee a fair retrenchment process,” says Maremela.