Members of Saftu with general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, centre. Picture: ROGAN WARD/THE TIMES
Members of Saftu with general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, centre. Picture: ROGAN WARD/THE TIMES

The National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) says it is not biased in its issuing of section 77 certificates, which protect workers embarking on socioeconomic protests.

The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) accused Nedlac of acting "suspiciously", because its members either had applications declined or their applications were not finalised speedily.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) has also complained about having to resubmit an application for a protest against mining job losses after its initial attempt was turned down by Nedlac.

Denying that it deliberately stalled any applications, Nedlac said on Thursday: "Nedlac remains committed to its founding declaration of strengthening co-operative mechanisms to address the challenges facing our new democracy in an impartial manner."

Nedlac also criticised Saftu’s plan to protest outside Nedlac’s annual summit on Friday, saying the federation’s fight for affiliation was without merit.

"There is no record of an application of membership yet. Nedlac has thus far received only three requests for information from Saftu. Two have been responded to and a response for the third is still being worked on," it said.

Saftu has accused Nedlac of forming "bogus" restrictions to block its request for affiliation to the council’s labour constituency.

Nedlac said anger over its approval of a Cosatu protest application was undue, as Cosatu also had other applications pending, just like other unions and federations.

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