The Employee Assistance Professionals Association of South Africa (EAPA-SA), a thought leader and the industry experts in the field of EAP and Wellness, expresses concern over the alleged awarding of a tender to render wellness services at the Department of Arts and Culture tender, to a marketing and advertising company, Indingliz Advertising and Marketing, as reported by Arts24.com on 5 August, 2020.

As the authority that plays a guardianship role over the health and wellness interests of the South African workforce, EAPA-SA wants to put it on record that it has no knowledge of the company listed in the aforementioned article operating in the EAP and wellness space.  We, as an association maintains that and confirms that they are not an EAPA-SA member. “An advertising and marketing company – operating alone –  does not have the expertise, credentials, competencies or legitimacy to render such a specialised service with efficacy, nor with the due professional and ethical diligence necessary,’” says EAPA-SA President Thiloshni Govender.

Govender says that there are “a number key of considerations and points of responsibility to effectively offer a comprehensive wellness intervention programme for the South African culture and creative practitioners”. She says that these include, but are not limited to:

  • Its track record of service offering
  • The validation of services and the quality thereof
  • Its alignment to best practices in the industry and standards of quality professional practice
  • Its registration with registered with regulating bodies such as HPCSA/SACSSP and professional associations like EAPA-SA
  • Its ability to perform the multitude of specialist functions required to effectively ensure employee wellness.

“We have not seen any evidence of Indingliz Advertising and Marketing’ requisite skills to run a comprehensive wellness intervention programme.  As far as we can tell, this is an advertising and marketing company that comprises three employees with marketing skills. Furthermore, South African culture and creative practitioners have been significantly impacted by national lockdown, as such, the use of experienced, qualified professionals in this critical intervention is fundamental to the programme delivering meaningful impact,” says Govender.

EAPA-SA has a strong membership base of Employee Assistance Programme Professionals and vetted service providers that are all adequately skilled to deal with the requirements of the tender of this nature. Over and above being vetted, its members are vetted and comply strongly comply with ethical, regulatory standards and international best practice.

The Professional Association has a close association with the governing structure for the Public Service – the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) to ensure the ethical promotion and standardised practice within the employee wellness field.  “It is therefore most unfortunate that the Department of Arts and Culture did not leverage our organisation’s experience, knowledge and vetting ability as a factor in determining the credibility of tender applicants,” Govender says.

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