By Thys Khiba
Qwaqwa – The employees of the Klear Visions Foundation have accused the organisation of not being able pay them their nine months salary package.
This is after the employees at Klear Visions Sanitary Pads factory in Qwaqwa were stopped from working in June 2020 due to the closure of the factory.
According to the spokesperson for the employees, Teboho Moloi, workers were promised that they’ll be called to resume their job responsibilities again in July 2020. “Nothing was communicated to us until October 2020, whereby they were informing us about the rejected Covid-19 relief fund application by department of labour,” said Moloi.
Free State Central News, Editor-in-Chief reached out to the management of Klear Visions Foundation to respond to the allegations made by their employees. “We firstly wish to thank you for the integrity and professionalism you have displayed in the discharge of your duties by bringing these allegations to our attention and for affording us the opportunity to exercise our right of reply, which we do herein,” said KVF CEO Vanessa Masilo.
“The issue of Klear Visions Foundation is mismanagement of funds by management,” said anonymous.
According to one of the employees of Klear Visions Foundation who wanted to remain anonymous, their employment contract with the organisation was meant to end on the last day of December 2020.
Meanwhile, Klear Visions Foundation says no former employee of KVF is owed wages for a period of 9 months or exceeding 9 months.
“Employees at the factory were employed on a fixed term contract for a period of 12 months. Their fixed term contract was interrupted by the closure of the factory in June of 2020 due disruptions brought about by Covid-19,” said Masilo.
According to Masilo, at the time of these disruptions 6 months of the 12 months fixes term contract had already lapsed and employees had been paid in full for work done to that point.
Furthermore, Masilo has indicated that in July 2020, her organisation was unable to get Covid-19 relief funds from the department of labour in order to pay employees for the remaining six months of their fixed term contract. “Following the unsuccessful application for Covid-19 relief funds KVF was forced by occupational reasons to terminate the employment contracts.”
The management of Klear Visions Foundation (KVF) informed Central News that a staff meeting was then held with employees to discuss the termination of the contracts and the question of severance packages. Masilo confirmed that the meeting was held to confirm that payment for wages will be enforced for 3 months of the remaining 6 months contract starting from the beginning of April 2021.
“We can confirm that at the beginning of April 2021 employees were paid for 2 months of the three months. Meanwhile, the spokesperson for employees, Teboho Moloi is holding a different view. Moloi has confirmed that nothing has been paid for the owed 9 months till 23 April 2021.
The idea of the Sanitary towels was discussed during the State of the province address dated “21 February 2017” by then Premier Ace Magashule.
“It has been established that many young women are forced to resort to using unhygienic methods because they cannot afford sanitary towels. Our government has responded to this plight by initiating a project on production and distribution of sanitary towels in Tweeling.”
It was initiated in 2016/2017 and became fully operational in 2017/2018. “The vision of this project is to ensure that government provides free sanitary towels to young women who do not have material means to live a positive and a hygienic life. The project will also assist with creating jobs for the youth through its value chain of production, packaging, storage and distribution”.
At the time of publishing this article, Central News couldn’t get a response from one of the stakeholders, department of social development in Free State.