South Africa Sends Mediator, Envoy to Intervene in Firefighters’ Pay Battle

South African Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, has confirmed to have sent a mediator from Working on Fire to Canada for assisting in resolving the pay dispute involving a team of firefighters. According to the spokesperson for the department, Albi Modise, Trevor Abrahams along with a high level management team from Working on Fire and SA High Commissioner to Canada Membathisi Mdladlana would meet with the firefighters involved in the dispute.

Earlier, the President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, requested for intervention following the standoff, “failing which, the mediation team will ensure that the firefighters are demobilised and return safely back to South Africa.” President Zuma stated that “Minister Molewa concurs fully with sentiment expressed by Alberta Governor Rachel Notley that remuneration for the firefighters should be fair and equitable.” It was added that “the department will continue to engage directly with the implementing agent, WoF personnel and with the Canadian government on the conditions under which South African firefighters are deployed both now and in future.” “This will include the negotiation of a Memorandum of Understanding between the governments of Canada and South Africa, as well as a concomitant implementation plan between the implementing agencies of Canada and South Africa respectively. This implementation plan will be done in consultation with WoF firefighters.”

Modise explained that “working on Fire has been in existence since 2003 and has received international recognition for its role in supporting conservation and sustaining ecosystems and community upliftment through the provision of job opportunities and skills and training of participants.”

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