Enumerators still not paid
Enumerators that were recently engaged by government for the national census have described government’s department of statistics as the worst when comparedwith Asians who supposedly pay paltry salaries to their employees.
The enumerators have still not been paid for their services to date. They, therefore, feel that the department was just using them as free labour because the country cannot engage in a national exercise without having budgeted for such a project.
The government department of statistics is now failing to pay the about 3000 enumerators,otherwise referred to as data collectors of the recently concluded national population and housing census project. The department is alleged to have been making the enumerators to run from pillar to post; whilst constantly promising they will be paid soon.
The enumerators have confided to this newspaper that they are now even afraid to face the people who were helping them financially on a daily basis with the hope that when they finally get paid, they will reimburse them.
Some of the enumerators are now concerned that they might not even have legal ground to stand on in this issue concerning the stand-off with the department as the very engagement agreement was signed towards the end of the data collection.
To make matters worse, copies of the same agreement were taken away by the supervisors.
“I’m in trouble now as I borrowed a lot of money knowing I will repay my debts once I get paid. I had to buy new and conducive clothes to look presentable on my assignments, but now I regret ever doing that as I can’t reverse it,” said one female enumerator who refused to be named in fear of victimisation.
Another one said; “I resigned from my job because I was tired of working for the Asians who paid us less than E1000 and this was an opportunity for me to make enough money in the months while attached to the statistics department because I’m a graduate. But due to having difficulty in securing employment since graduation, I find myself working for the Asians. Now I regret this decision as my own government is even worse than the Asians, who at last paid the meagre salary without fail.”
The enumerators who were collecting data for the government’s national population and housing census are confused as the contract of engagement stated clearly that they have to return the equipment used in this exercise for payment to be processed.
An extract of the contract signed by the enumerators and later taken without a copy on Section 35 page 16 partly states; ‘You will be required to return the tablet, charger and all other materials to your supervisor at the end of enumeration. Only after completing your area of assignment and returning the items will then your payments be released’.
Contacted, Director of Central StatisticsOffice Amos Zwane said; “It is unfortunate that the CSO has no knowledge of such a contract as quoted above”.
He was also asked if the department was using the UNFPA donated gadgets in 2016 for the exercise and he responded by saying the CSO used all the gadgets that were available.
a) b) c) d) Donated
He said these included those donated by UNFPA and those borrowed from Statistics South Africa through the South-South cooperation.
Zwane could only say; “Currently the processes indicated are ongoing. We anticipate that they will be concluded soon”.
He conceded that they engaged 3 000 enumerators for the census and further outlines the payment process as follows:
Enumerators submit relevant documents such as birth certificates and bank account details to the ministry’s HR department. This information is entered/uploaded into the HR system.
The information is then sent to the ministry of public service for further processing.
From ministry of public service, the information is submitted to Treasury where every government payment for personnel is processed.
The above process and procedure is not an overnight thing due to the large volume of data that has to be actioned by the different ministries and departments.
In all these steps, there are checks and balances to ascertain if the information is correct so as to not induce government in unnecessary loss or expenditure.