Enu­mer­a­tors still not paid

Observer on Saturday - - News - By Sicelo Maziya

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.

Worse

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.

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