Probe launched into Consumer Commission

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pretoria - An independent investigator has been appointed by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, to look into the state of affairs at the National Consumer Commission (NCC), one of the department's agencies.

The investigation follows concerns raised by the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) about the commission's non-adherence to the terms of the transfer agreement and other concerns raised by staff members.

The investigation was also necessitated by a request from 11 employees who had requested to be transferred back to the dti.

It was reported that the union had received complaints from the commission's staff about poor working conditions, including long working hours, insufficient work stations, no performance contracts and leave being denied. It was also reported that the National Consumer Commissioner, Mamodupi Mohlala, bullied and threatened staff.

The commission recently moved premises to Centurion, near Pretoria.

According to the department's Director General, Lionel October, the intention of conducting the investigation was to provide the minister with an independent assessment report that can enable him to act decisively and bring the situation back to normal.

"However, there is no presumption of wrongdoing," said October.

The investigation is expected to determine the status of reports about transgressing the terms of the transfer agreement, including relevant policies as outlined in the agreement. This will include also determining the validity of claims about employees being made redundant and whether or not employment contracts adhered to relevant legislation.

"The focus of the investigation will also have to assess the impact of any transfer of officials from the NCC to any other entity," said Mr October.

According to a statement by the department, the investigator is expected to deliver their findings in three weeks.