Education in Ceppwawu is the pillar that cuts across all departments of the union in terms of support and functions. It is the main pillar because it is responsible for defining the character of the union in terms of capacity and service to members. It is supposed to host and house knowledge and memory of the union. It is responsible for capacitating and developing leadership and general membership of the union. The department has two other departments such as Health and Safety, and Research. There is also Gender headed by Mam Marry Nxumalo which reports through this department but it is independent.
This department has been revived the last year 2019. Since last year there have been some training events. Last year we had in May and June legal training facilitated by CTH on a pro-bono basis, this training took place in Gauteng covering the inland regions (Free state, Mpumalanga, North West and Wits) and KwaZulu-Natal covering the coastal regions (Eastern Cape, Kwazulu-Natal and Western Cape). Most importantly at the centre of these workshops both inland and coastal is our National Legal Officer Advocate Mnyandu, he influenced the content of the workshop and the material provided. The legal training targeted mainly officials in the form of organizers. Later in the year of 2019, a Negotiation Skills workshop for shop stewards was conducted nationally after receiving funding from FP&M SETA.
Again in 2019, we managed to secure a bursary from CHIETA for comrades both shop stewards and officials to enroll on a legal course (commissioner’s course) a short course offered by Wits University. There was also a bursary offered by ETDP SETA for comrades to enroll for a course offered by University of the Western Cape ( UWC) we managed to place one Comrade. We call these career development programmes, unfortunately, they have been affected by COVID-19 because the tuition was in 2020 and during lockdown these institutions required of the comrade to have computers to enable them to engage virtually which was not possible for all. Over 180 comrades in 2019 attended training both capacity building workshops and career development programmes.
In 2020 the department showed resilience on the side of capacity building programmes by immediately after the lifting of the restrictions from August capacity building training events were conducted with funding assistance from Wood and Paper Bargaining Council until October 2020. These events took place in different regions from August till the second week of December, with November-December funded directly by FP&M SETA. It is important to highlight that the legal training again took place this year in November (11-12 November coastal and 18-19 November inland) in the same form as last year but funded by the FP&M SETA this time. National Legal Officer played a central role again in these programmes and we are wishing to make this legal training for officials an annual event. We have achieved it this year at no cost to the union. This year 2020 over 300 comrades have attended training mainly capacity to build workshops with one career development programme. The main intention of the department is to instil a culture of learning in the union which I think has been achieved to some extent. In the coming future, we will focus also on the content to empower and enrich the comrades with knowledge with the hope that a new face of the union will emerge. In all events happy pictures were taken unfortunately they are not available now but they will be availed at a later stage. The example of those pictures is loaded, a training that was held in KZN.
The training is continuing next year when everybody comes back. The schedule of dates will be released early next year for people to prepare themselves. Most important to note is that next year plan is to conduct a workshop on health and safety as the main theme.
Further to that on the side of Research, health and Safety, there have been desktop research on COVID-19 to submit the Climate Change Bill at NEDLAC. The submission will be posted with the two photos that I managed to secure.