04 October 2018 - NW2613
van der Merwe, Ms LL to ask the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs
1) Whether he has been informed of any allegations of abuse of power and sexual harassment levelled against a certain person (details furnished); if so, (a) has he instituted an investigation into the allegations and (b) what steps has he taken to remedy the situation; 2) what measures exist within the entity to support members of staff who have experienced abuse, violence and sexual harassment?
1. SALGA has not informed me of any allegations of the abuse of power and sexual harassment, levelled against its Chief Financial Officer.
(a) I was not informed of any allegations of the abuse of power and sexual harassment. Therefore, I have not instituted any investigations into these allegations.
(b) Not applicable.
2. According to the reply received from SALGA, the organization is also not aware of such allegations. The organization has no record of any complaint levelled against the Chief Financial Officer in terms of the organization’s Grievance Policy and Process. Nor has there ever been a complaint lodged via the anonymous channel that the organization has put in place terms of its Employee Health and Wellness Policy, that is managed through an external Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider namely, CAREWAYS.
The organization has a set of policies approved by the SALGA’s National Executive Committee that includes the following, amongst others:
• Code of ethics and business conduct – the policy objective is to ensure that everyone involved with SALGA, conducts business with the highest standards of ethics, integrity, desired business conduct and professional behavior and ensures that the integrity of both SALGA and its employees is not compromised.
• Harassment policy – the policy outlines SALGA’s stance on harassment, particularly sexual harassment, which constitutes discrimination and ensures a common understanding throughout SALGA, with regard to a misconduct of this nature and sets out the procedures to be adhered to in order to ensure that incidents of harassment are reported and are dealt with seriously, expeditiously and confidentially.
• Grievance Policy and Process – the policy has an objective of affording any employee or group of employees with a grievance as an opportunity to resolve such grievances internally in a reasonable and fair manner.
• Discipline and dismissal policy – the policy provides a code of conduct as a guideline for an unacceptable behavior, which stipulates provisions to regulate the management of misconduct and provides for dismissal of employees for reasons of misconduct.
• In addition to organizational policies, the organization periodically convenes the Women’s and Men’s Dialogue forums for SALGA staff to amongst others, increase women’s engagement in peacebuilding and improve attitudes and perceptions towards coexistence, trust building and appreciation of diversity and social cohesion.