Tributes continue to pour in for Mr Andrew William Kutumela, Director at Education Labour Relations and Conditions of Service, who passed away on Saturday, 08 June 2019, after a short illness. Mr Kutumela was the DBE specialist on labour matters involving teachers and was the Department’s negotiator at the Bargaining Council.
Ms Maggie Mogale, Deputy Director in Mr Kutumela’s Directorate, delivered the speech during the Memorial Service held at the Department of Basic Education (DBE) Building in Pretoria on Thursday, 13 June 2019. “The Department has lost a great man and the institutional memory he had can never be replaced. The experience he gained as the Director for labour relations in the Mpumalanga Department of Education, as well as Director for Education Labour Relations and Conditions of Service, spans many years. Mr Kutumela dedicated his life to his work by fulfilling the call he was appointed to do.
“His tasks were many, complex and often stressful: working long hours and during weekends. He conducted negotiations on behalf of the State in the Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC) and Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC) regulating Labour Relations within the education sector through Collective Bargaining and to monitor the implementations of Collective Agreements. At the time of his death, he was engaged in arbitrations and assisting other departments, the South African Council for Educators (SACE) and Provincial Education Departments (PEDs) in dealing with Dispute Resolution. That was the selfless Mr Kutumela we all knew,” said Ms Mogale.
SADTU National Deputy General-Secretary, Mr Nkosana Dolopi, also attended the Memorial Service at the DBE Building in Pretoria. Members of staff gathered at the Conference Centre to pay tribute to Mr Kutumela whose contribution to the sector touched and impacted many people across the country.
In his speech, Mr Dolopi said that Mr Kutumela was a dedicated comrade who was present at the formation and subsequent launch of the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) on 6 October 1990. He added that Kutumela’s dedication was unparalleled and he took his responsibilities seriously at all times.