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In its effort to alleviate the plight of the underpaid outsourced workers, NMMU will from 2 December top up some 800 workers’ minimum wage to R5 000 per month cost to company as well as ensure leave pay for December.

They will also have access to university clinic services for medical treatment and study benefits will in future also be available to workers who qualify. Outsourced workers are employed in security, cleaning, catering and horticultural services (including sports grounds).

It is important to know that the minimum wage of R5 000 cost to company means that current deductions will still take place and wages will be paid by the outsourced supplier as employer. NMMU have requested detailed cost to company statements containing payments and deductions pertaining to each worker to work out the specific amount to be paid over to the suppliers to top up the minimum cost to company to R5 000. These details are also signed by each individual worker. The university needs to draw a comparison between factors determining cost to company in a transparent process.  

Meanwhile, task team discussions have started with representatives from the specific suppliers, the unions, the workers, students and NMMU management regarding the way forward. The process will be facilitated by a neutral, impartial third party. The task team will define the details around Council approved benefits such as the payment and study benefits.

Factors influencing the reintegrating services process include supplier contracts and timespans, some lasting as far as 2018, workers shared between NMMU and other delivery sites and the number of workers needed by NMMU.

The reintegration process will take place through the application of Section 197 of the Labour Relations Act as appropriate. 

More details on study benefits are not available at the moment but will be in line with benefits currently applicable to NMMU staff.