BEL ONS: 012 644 4300

Review

According to the American opinion poll company Gallup, a good job is the most important need of people across the world. Apart from the economic stability resulting from a job, your job also to a large extent determines who you are and where you fit in. Here at Solidarity we believe in more than just a good job – we believe in a meaningful job.

We view a well-paid, productive and well-trained labour force as a prerequisite for a successful community and country. To achieve this, our strategy is focused on assisting our members to get a good job through job protection, career development, job creation and the promotion of equal opportunities.

To get a good job in South Africa, knowledge and skills as well as ongoing learning are essential. Consequently, our comprehensive approach with respect to good jobs includes empowering people to promote themselves in their work, a substantial training plan and major campaigns against race quotas.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Occupational health and safety (OHS) is a multidisciplinary field aimed at protecting the safety, health and well-being of employees and people joining the workforce. It also protects fellow workers, relatives, employers, customers, suppliers, nearby communities and other members of the public being affected by the work environment. Solidarity’s OHS division does specialist work in the field of occupational health and safety and occupational injuries and diseases. The department is competently headed by Adv Paul Mardon. Litigation in the department is dealt with by a team of legal practitioners: Dr Johan Böning, Adv. Fanus Maritz, Adv. Hanlie van Vuuren and Mr Nikki Prinsloo. The injury on duty (IOD) branch of the department is staffed by six dedicated ladies: Mmes Sharon Riekert, Chantel Nel, Elsje van der Mescht, Rachelle de la Rey and Christine Dreyer, and Ms Anina de Beer. These ladies handle the administration of members’ claims at the various forums, including the Compensation Commissioner, Rand Mutual, the Medical Bureau for Occupational Diseases and FEMA (Federated Employer’s Mutual Assurance). Die Wêreld spoke to some staff members of this department to find out how they assist you in a time of distress. What motivated you to get involved with people with IODs?Elsje van der Mescht: “I wanted to apply the knowledge I had gained to help the people who most of the time are already experiencing pain and in many cases are so seriously injured that they cannot work for a long time. These people often are on the verge of losing their fixed or other assets. It makes me feel good if I can assist or advise someone concerning the processes and actions he or she may follow to make life better for himself or herself.” • Christine Dreyer: “I have an absolute passion for my work and to me personally it is a privilege to be able to assist members with their claims. I also believe it is a God-given talent to be able to assist them emotionally. To me it is very important to nurture a bond with members and to have their best interests at heart at all times. It is wonderful to give something back to the community but above all to God. I have great empathy with each of our members and their families in the difficult circumstances they find themselves in. My advice to them is to keep their eyes fixed on our heavenly Father – He will give us anything we sincerely ask in prayer, and things will be better again.” What do you think is a shortcoming in most workplaces as far as OHS is concerned?Johan Böning: “Employers are not aware of their obligations in terms of especially the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act. And employees are not always aware of their rights in this regard.” • Rachelle de la Rey: “Reporting of claims and everything that accompanies this. Many employers do not understand the legislation. Employers do not realise that they have an obligation to report claims. I also think most employers have not been trained to report claims. Some employers do not give their full co-operation in injury on duty and occupational disease claims.” • Fanus Maritz: “I have seen the devastating effect occupational diseases and injuries have on members and their families and this motivated me to become part of a team that really want to make a difference in the lives of these members.” What would be the one IOD tip you can give members to improve the compensation process?Chantel Nel: “Patience is extremely important. The compensation process is a protracted one and claims are not all the same.” What are the most common enquiries you receive, and how do you respond?Anina de Beer: “May my employer stop my salary because I have been booked off for an injury on duty? The answer: No, if you have been booked off for more than three days, the employer has to pay you for the first three months of your absence from work because of the injury, although the employer may pay you only 75% of your earnings at the time of the accident. After the three month period the employer may stop payment, but the employee himself may then lodge a claim for loss of income with the forum concerned.” • Hanlie van Vuuren: “May I sue my employer? The answer: No, the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (No 130 of 1993) (commonly known as COIDA) prohibits employees and their dependants from suing the employer of the injured employee. But many people then ask, ‘I have heard about many mines now being sued?’ It is indeed so that many mining houses are being sued, but this is permissible only on the strength of a court order by the Constitutional Court in terms of the Occupational Diseases in Mines and Works Act (No 78 of 1973) and it may be done only with regard to the lung diseases contemplated by this Act.” • Nikki Prinsloo: “There are lots of chemicals in my workplace that could make me sick. Is there anything I can do about it? The answer: In terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1993 your employer is obliged to conduct a risk analysis of your workplace to determine the risks and the intensity of such risks. It is also his responsibility to put methods in place to eliminate or deal with those risks and to inform you as employee about the risks and to train you so that your will not be exposed.” What would be your OHS tip for Solidarity members? Nikki Prinsloo: “Your children, family and friends would like to see you again after a workday. You have rights that protect you to work in a safe and healthy environment. Exercise those rights and look after your own safety.”   #Let’sBuild with Solidarity. Visit https://solidariteit.co.za/en/letsbuild/ or SMS the word LETSBUILD to 34802 (R1).
Solidarity has the largest legal department of all trade unions in South Africa and it is one of a kind. This department tackles hundreds of workplace-related labour law issues on behalf of Solidarity members on a daily basis. This it does either by referring it to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) or by dealing with it in-house at the workplace. The issues the team deals with include matters of discrimination, unfair dismissals and contractual claims. The legal department is having great success in performing this task and is accomplishing its goal to support Solidarity members as best as possible when it comes to labour related matters. During the first eight months of 2017 the legal department has offered telephonic legal advice regarding labour law issues to approximately 11 856 members. Up until August 2017 the department has opened 750 legal queries on behalf of members and handled 297 arbitrations, 269 conciliations and 1 216 consultations on behalf of members. The most impressive statistic is that settlements and awards to the amount of R30 278 853.96 was paid out to members during the first eight months of 2017. This was possible thanks to Solidarity’s legal department’s outstanding work and the support it offers. Apart from the labour law assistance given to Solidarity members as a membership benefit, members can also obtain civil law advice telephonically and this service is free of charge. Solidarity’s legal department fulfils one of the trade union’s core objectives as far as workplace support to members is concerned. Solidarity fights for you in your workplace, join today https://solidariteit.co.za/en/join-in-one-minute/  
Solidarity’s Occupational Guild for Health Care Practitioners is one of the first guilds to be established By Cilleste van Dyk Occupational guilds are an age-old concept that aims to mutually connect members of the same professional occupation so that they may assist one another to be successful in their careers. What does a guild do? Professional guilds serve as a network, a training platform, a resource for members’ career progression and to give young people access into a professional career. The members of a guild are proud people who strive for excellence and to be masters in their study field. They are a mutual aid professional community. Solidarity decided to revive the concept of guilds. The plan is to eventually create an Afrikaans guild for every profession. The guilds will be united under the umbrella of the Solidarity Occupational Guilds. A world-wide study has shown that people’s greatest need is to have a meaningful job. Afrikaans employees increasingly feel that they are being cast aside in their work place. Their career advancement has reached a ceiling because of unfair affirmative action, there is no investment in their training and English is often the only language spoken at work. Solidarity’s Occupational Guilds creates a mutual aid professional community for Afrikaans professionals where they can feel at home in Afrikaans and where they can feel that they are contributing to the conservation of their profession and their own career advancement. The first fully-fledged occupational guild established by Solidarity is the Occupational Guild for Health Care Practitioners. #Let’sBuild with Solidarity on occupational guilds. Visit www.solidariteit.co.za/en/letsbuild/ or SMS the word LET’SBUILD to 34802 (R1). What is the Occupational Guild for Health Care Practitioners passionate about? We would like to make health care practitioners in South Africa successful.
  • We are building and investing in knowledge by presenting quality continuing professional development (CPD) in Afrikaans and by strengthening Afrikaans training institutions.
  • We are building a mutual aid professional community consisting of professional people.
  • We are building on the future of the health care industry by supporting and giving the next generation of Afrikaans health care practitioners access to education and training.
What is the Occupational Guild for Health Care Practitioners not? This guild is not an institution to which health care practitioners belong to see what they can get out of it. It is an institution to which health care practitioners belong to make a lasting difference in their profession and community whilst also investing in their own personal development. Contact us at mandy@solidariteit.co.za, or SMS “Guild” to 34802. We will contact you and deal with the joining process telephonically. An SMS costs R2. South Africa’s greatest health care Samaritan competition We recently launched a competition to find South Africa’s greatest health care Samaritan. Nominate a health care practitioner who you think is a true Samaritan and stand the chance to win big prizes! Read more about the competition and please tell your friends and family about it. The nomination process recently closed, but keep an eye on http://gildes.solidariteit.co.za for the next leg of the competition. What is at stake? People who nominate health care Samaritans stand the chance to win a seaside holiday at Santana holiday resort and a cash prize of R10 000. #Let’sBuild with Solidarity on occupational guilds. Visit www.solidariteit.co.za/bousaam or SMS the word LET’SBUILD to 34802 (R1).
The moment a person joins Solidarity there is an expectation: one of service – not just any kind of service but excellent service. That implies that the service has to be accessible, which means the expertise and professionalism of Solidarity staff must be readily available to members. Service is one of the most important traits of Solidarity membership, and is what distinguishes us from other trade unions. It is also something we constantly work on, for we know good service from Solidarity’s side may ensure that you keep your job, improve your career or could even help you pursue a new career or profession. In order to provide you with the best service when you need it most, Solidarity has to ensure on an ongoing basis that its members are satisfied. To gauge satisfaction with our service an external member service audit was undertaken last year among Solidarity’s members. What can be deduced from the results is that Solidarity members are most satisfied with the service they receive. Within the context of the audit, satisfaction is defined as members’ positive opinions and feelings as far as Solidarity’s service delivery is concerned. Opinions have been gauged about the following aspects relating to service delivery:
  • Dealing with issues / inquiries
  • Reliability
  • Response and feedback
  • Empathy
  • Enthusiasm
Our business is to protect your job and to see to it that you keep it, and to give you an opportunity to empower yourself through more knowledge about the workplace and about your job. The Service Centre is Solidarity’s frontline when it comes to managing this major task. The centre is run by a trained and professional group of people who can deal with your legal enquiries, membership enquiries, and general enquiries and who can refer those matters to the right person within the broader structures of the trade union. Solidarity attaches great importance to service delivery for, if we do our job well, then you will be in a position to produce good, fair and decent work at your workplace. The results of the said survey serve as yet more proof that its members’ needs always come first at Solidarity. For any enquiries phone 0861 25 24 23. A team of expert Solidarity agents are ready to be of outstanding service to you.  
The Solidarity Legal Fund was established for a specific purpose: To oppose the government’s unlawful application of affirmative action. Why do we fight affirmative action?
  • Solidarity is currently fighting up to 34 affirmative action cases across the country on behalf of its members and it is constantly striving to protect members against the government’s obsession with race and racial representation.
  • The government’s continued application of racial quotas has led to the oppression of minority groups and to a total disregard of the value of skills.
  • This indiscriminate application of racially motivated affirmative action has led to the breakdown of the state and its institutions, which has had an impact on service delivery.
Eskom as example of the impact of affirmative action
  • According to a study done by Solidarity Chief Executive Dr Dirk Hermann, Eskom got rid of 10 207 experienced employees within a matter of eight years, between 1994 and 2002.
  • With this approach, Eskom’s focus shifted from electricity supply to racial representation.
  • According to Hermann, a problem has developed due to the sudden loss of skills as well as the destruction of the institution’s institutional memory.
What is Solidarity doing?
  • Solidarity has fought numerous cases on behalf of employees of the Department of Correctional Services, the SAPS, Eskom and municipalities.
  • However, that is not enough. The application of affirmative action actually discriminates against certain racial groups on the basis of their skin colour.
  • The trade union’s next big step is to take the matter to the United Nations by submitting a shadow report on affirmative action.
  • With this shadow report, Solidarity seeks to prove that the government’s application of racial legislation is unconstitutional and in conflict with the UN’s convention on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination.
You can make a contribution. Assist Solidarity in its fight against affirmative action, thereby ensuring that you and your children will not be evaluated in terms of your race, but on your skills. That is the way to ensure a future that is free, safe and prosperous for you and your children. You can make a contribution in a fight. Join Solidarity today, click here.
The Solidarity Movement builds on a better society and a better future for generations to come and we do this mainly through the Solidarity Building Fund. Solidarity noticed the uncertainties in our country and decided to do something positive about it with your help. The Solidarity Movement realizes the necessity of good training in rare skills and it is precisely this issue that is addressed by the Building Fund. With already existing Solidarity training institutions, Sol-Tech and Akademia, young people are offered the opportunity to gain the necessary knowledge to flourish as a minority group in a majority society. The Building Fund was established by Solidarity because the trade union believes that knowledge is the best way to protect its members in the new, uncertain economic times. The Building Fund aims to look after the needs of its people and the future. We are focussing on a safe Afrikaans training future of a high quality and have already achieved the following with the financial support we receive from our supporters. Akademia
  • Where pupils who leave school, and working people can obtain accredited qualifications of high quality part-time.
  • R50 million has already been paid out by the Solidarity Building Fund and the Virseker Trust to build Akademia.
  • Akademia already offers: BCom Business Management BCom Management Accounting BCom Economics and Law Advanced Diploma in Project Management Higher Certificate in Office Administration (General or Project Administration) Higher Certificate in Accounting
For more information about Akademia, please visit their website: www.akademia.ac.za.  Sol-Tech
  • Solidarity lit the torch to training in 2006 and established its own technical training college. Sol-Tech already offers a wide range of courses in rare skills.
  • More than 600 artisans have been qualified by Sol-Tech.
  • At any given time 1 000 young artisans are accommodated by the institution.
  • Sol-Tech is a private technical training institution that is founded on Christian values and which uses Afrikaans as training medium.
For more information about Sol-Tech, please visit their website: www.sol-tech.co.za. Aros
  • One of four accredited private institutions that offers education, of which Aros is the only Afrikaans private institution.
Sol-Tech was erected at a cost of more than R50 million. The Building Fund contributed R200 000 for the erection of a new centre at Aros and only the best equipment and technology are used here. With the introduction of the Solidarity Movement’s 2020 plan-for-the-future at the Summit on the Future in 2015, Solidarity announced that it will invest R3,5 milliard in various projects and institutions. The money will be used for the expansion of the Solidarity Movement's existing educational institutions, Sol-Tech and Akademia. These institutions, which are a technical training college and an Afrikaans private university, focus on providing quality tertiary education to students. The Building Fund plays a significant role in realizing these goals so that Afrikaners can live and work freely, safely and prosperously in South Africa. Please visit the Building Fund website: www.boufonds.co.za. Help us build a bright future. Join Solidarity today. Click here.

OPINION POLL

Choose the themes in Solidarity’s building that are close to your heart and sign on to build with us.

Give your opinion

FACEBOOK

Follow the #Let’sBuild campaign on Facebook.

Take me to Facebook

What Are We Building?

Training

Review Successful cultural communities require healthy, stable and flourishing education and vocational training. As early as the middle 1800s, Afrikaners started establishing vocational colleges and universities at several places. Over time, however, these vocational colleges and universities lost their community character and increasingly developed a state character. At present, these  ... Read more

Read more

Rule of law

Review Solidarity’s aim is to bring about a South Africa where all will be free and equal before the law and will be treated with dignity and fairness. Since 1902 Solidarity has been fighting actively in courts for its members so as to bring about justice in the workplace and  ... Read more

Read more

Growing independence

Review We do not want to focus merely on offering our members economic solutions. We try to create democratic spaces for our members and their communities where they can live in a self-reliant way. The response to state decay is the politics of self. For this reason it is imperative  ... Read more

Read more

Good job opportunities

Review According to the American opinion poll company Gallup, a good job is the most important need of people across the world. Apart from the economic stability resulting from a job, your job also to a large extent determines who you are and where you fit in. Here at Solidarity  ... Read more

Read more

Study assistance

Review We view ourselves as builders who, together with enthusiastic members, have been building a future for the past 115 years. In spite of all the uncertainty in our country, we will never stop building training institutions. We will continue creating study opportunities for members of the community. We are  ... Read more

Read more

Media

Review At present very little if any space is being created for Afrikaans media. Even within the commercial Afrikaans media there are some media institutions who are unsympathetic towards the critical situation of Afrikaans, or who are not prepared to give up their monopoly on the Afrikaans media in order  ... Read more

Read more

Free economic and political positioning

Review We advocate an economic dispensation of free competition. South African economic policy should be based on a free-market economy where there is a balance between the various role-players in the economy. We strive for a South Africa where the role of institutions is foremost and trust among people is  ... Read more

Read more

Greater Solidarity Movement

Review The origins of the Solidarity Movement can be traced back to June 1902, when the Transvaal Miners’ Association was founded. The establishment of the Movement cannot be ascribed to individual actions alone, but also to the functioning of institutions. The Solidarity Movement comprises 18 institutions, including Solidarity, AfriForum and  ... Read more

Read more

Afrikaans

Review Historically, we have had a close relationship with the Afrikaner community and this is still the case. Afrikaans is one of South Africa’s important official languages – it is the language that is close to the heart of millions of South Africans. The reality is, however, that Afrikaans as  ... Read more

Read more

Registreer / Register

Maak toe / Close