The United National Transport Union (UNTU) is deeply disappointed in Transnet Group for
unilaterally implementing the COVID-10 Volunteer-A-Thon without responding to the Union’s
counter proposal for a fund to assist employees.
Steve Harris, General Secretary of UNTU, says the Executive Council of the Union debated
Transnet’s proposal on 20 April 2020 at a special meeting. Although there was no objection
to the principal of Transnet’s idea, the leadership of the Union stated that “charity begins at
Any goodwill gesture of Transnet should focus on the financial wellness of its employees first
before any donations is asked for other funds like the Solidarity Fund.
Harris informed Transnet that although UNTU leadership understand that the Executive
Management of Transnet wants to adhere to the repeated calls by President Cyril
Ramaphosa to contribute to the Solidarity Fund, the harsh reality is that the employees of the
state-owned enterprise are struggling due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
UNTU informed Transnet that its donation of personal protective equipment (PPE’s) to the
value of R5 million to the Gauteng Health Department on Saturday 18 April 2020 did not sit
well with employees who like health workers working in the forefront of this pandemic and
are struggling to receive PPE’s.
The union told Transnet Group that their gesture might be seen by members on the ground
level as totally unsympathetic to the harsh realities they are faced with daily where they do
not have the choice, but to expose themselves as their jobs do not allow them to work from
home,” says Harris.
UNTU made a counter suggestion for Transnet to still start up a fund of voluntary
contributions, but to assist the employees who’s households are in dire need due to the
COVID-19 lockdown and who would need assistance to see them through the next few
UNTU has been inundated with calls from members who seek financial assistance.
Harris says Transnet did not even bother to respond to the Union’s proposal.
Issued on behalf of UNTU by Sonja Carstens, Deputy-General Secretary: Media,
Liaison and Communication. For UNTU press releases phone Sonja on 082 463 6806
or e-mail email@example.com.