Nehawu general-secretary Zola Saphetha File picture: @_cosatu/Twitter

Cape Town - South Africa's biggest public sector trade union Nehawu vowed to go ahead with its national strike action at the Department of Water and Sanitation after the two parties failed to resolve their dispute at the departmental bargaining chamber.

Around 5 000 workers are expected to down tools.

The strike is set to take place at around 53 workplaces of the department across the country as workers are demanding action against corruption, improved working conditions and the end of outsourcing.

Nehawu general-secretary Zola Saphetha said former water and sanitation minister Nomvula Mokonyane had been using outsourcing to aid looting in the department.

"After the deployment of minister Nomvula Mokonyane we have witnessed outsourcing of many services in the department.

"Cleaners at the head office are outsourced and the construction of dams and pipelines where there are major projects are outsourced to private companies despite the fact that the department had capacity to run with these projects," Saphetha said.

The union said senior officials had been purged by Mokonyane for allegedly refusing to obey unlawful instructions.

Saphetha said while the union would continue with its strike until newly-appointed Water and Sanitation Minister Gugile Nkwinti concedes to their demands, they would pursue to hold Mokonyane to account.

He said Nehawu was currently engaging its lawyers for a possibility of taking the legal route for alleged acts of corruption and maladministration. 

Political Bureau