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Home affairs wins labour case

Nov 29 2012 19:03 Sapa

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Johannesburg - Using soldiers to work at ports of entry has received the nod from the Johannesburg Labour Court, a home affairs official said on Thursday.

Immigration director general Jackie McKay said the court ruled in favour of the department on Tuesday.

At issue was a project by the department to use SA National Defence Force members to man ports of entry for security reasons.

The Public Servants' Association (PSA) objected, saying this would lead to job losses for current staff at ports.

McKay said the court ruled that the employment of soldiers would not have an adverse effect on PSA members or result in job losses.

"The judge found that the objectives of the project were geared towards ensuring state security and the security of the citizens and therefore it was in the public interest that the project be implemented."

The PSA took home affairs to court after it deployed 350 soldiers at OR Tambo International Airport as part of the pilot project. Those people previously at the airport were retrained and sent elsewhere in the department, McKay said.

The PSA brought an urgent application in the labour court for an interdict to stop the department from employing SANDF members.
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