Mangaung Metro to address issues raised by Samwu’s municipal strike

Credit: Mark Steenbok

The Mangaung Metro Municipality’s Executive Mayor, Olly Mlamleli, says a task team has been appointed to investigate and address issues raised by the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu).

Workers have been on a full blown strike for the past few weeks. Their demands include a salary increment, an end to outsourcing and privatisation of municipal services at various departments, nepotism, and permanent employment of contract workers.

Mlamleli says they acknowledge the union’s demands and are working on redressing some of the issues raised. She, however, says the municipality is to conduct a thorough investigation into some of the allegations.

She says workers’ skills assessments will follow to assess whether some of them are qualified for the positions and salaries which they demand.

Mlamleli confirms that workers are on a legal strike and have submitted a memorandum of demands to the municipality. She says it came to her attention recently, however, that the workers on strike have actually also been misusing municipal resources and damaging property.

Mlamleli says the strike is not peaceful and she condemns workers destroying property, switching off electricity in certain areas and allegedly looting retail shops. She says the municipality has therefore requested a court interdict against striking workers.

She adds that the municipality will enforce strict evaluation measures on how municipal resources are being used by employees.

“Where they are correct and deserving, they must be given what is rightfully due to them, but we are not going to allow a situation where they are fighting for their rights but stepping on other people’s rights.”

She says they should acknowledge that destroying property is destroying taxpayers money, and the municipality condemns that.

Mlamleli says the municipality also condemns the late payment of workers’ salaries and will ensure that all municipal employees are paid in due time as per their employment contract.

She says she is aware that there are allegations of daily political interference by councilors in the administration of the municipality, and that there is nepotism, but would like to request the workers to provide her with more information on this.

“When they say there are people who are appointed because of their political connections or because they belong to certain families, or that there are people who occupy certain positions who are not qualified, let them bring names and put them on the table.”

Mlamleli adds that they plan to have a meeting this afternoon with the union to discuss their demands and a way forward.

Katleho Morapela- Courant News