Trade union Solidarity has demanded the immediate suspension of the Cuban engineering programme.

It says the decision to import 24 Cuban engineers could be illegal.

Earlier on Monday, trade union Solidarity started a legal process against Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.

In a legal letter, trade union Solidarity says the programme must be suspended until it is determined if the engineers meet the legal requirement to work in South Africa.

Department of Water and Sanitation spokesperson Sputnik Ratau explains why Minister Sisulu decided to hire Cuban engineers to deal with SA’s water problems:

This after Sisulu said South Africa must embrace Cuban engineers who are helping with water infrastructure.

Solidarity’s Chief Executive Dirk Herman says the programme is both foolish and immoral.

“It appears that the minister’s decision to import Cuban engineers is not only foolish and immoral but also illegal. At face value, these engineers do not appear to meet the registration requirements of the Engineering Council of South Africa that would enable them to practice fully. In our legal letter, Solidarity asks that the Cuban Engineering program be suspended immediately and that assurance be provided regarding the legality of the Cuban’s licencing and registration,” explains Herman.

In 2020, government brought more than 200 Cuban health professionals, mostly doctors to South Africa, at a cost of R400 million to help in the fight against the coronavirus.