The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) in the Tshwane region has noted with great anger that Mr. Randall Williams, Mayor of the City of Tshwane has resorted to politicising the demands by workers for the implementation of salaries and wages as agreed in the South African Local Government Bargaining Council (SALGBC).
The utterances by the mayor have not sat well with workers who have now gone four months without a salary increase. Instead of attending to the legitimate demands of workers, the Mayor has been quoted as saying that workers are fighting political battles. We want to categorically state that ours is not a political battle but a battle for the implementation of salary and wage increases as agreed in the SALGBC.
To make matters worse, the Mayor has been on several media platforms unashamedly lying by saying that there are no actions in other Metros in the country and that these Metros have not implemented the salary increases for workers. The lies peddled by the Mayor are an attempt to create a public perception that the City of Tshwane is being systematically targeted because it is governed by the Democratic Alliance.
For the record, other Metros have implemented the salary and wage increases; the City of Johannesburg has implemented the agreement further making an undertaking that the once-off payment of R4000 will be paid by December this year, the City of Ekurhuleni has informed workers that their salary increases will be paid in November this year, other Metros such as Buffalo City, Ethekwini Metro, have implemented the SALGBC agreement.
The Mayor is therefore hiding behind the upcoming local government election but in doing so has lied about the implementation of salary and wage increases in other Metros. The demand by workers for the implementation of this agreement is in no way political, as one would have seen there have been actions by workers throughout the country in municipalities that have not been implemented including the DA-led City of Cape Town and in Mogale City which is not governed by the DA, but workers are currently fighting for the correction of the wage gap. Most importantly workers in Sedibeng Water had staged demonstrations at the water utility over the non-payment of increases, Sedibeng Water is not administered by the DA.
Of great concern to us is that the Mayor has proven himself to either not being able to read or totally oblivious of the developments in the sector which he wants to lead again after the 1st of November. The Mayor has been consistent with his lies that the City has until March next year to make a determination on the implementation of the agreement. Nowhere in the SALGBC agreement does it make provisions for municipalities to determine by the end of March next year if they will be paying workers their salary increase.
Workers in the City of Tshwane will continue demanding the implementation of the SALGBC agreement, we are not going to sit back and allow clueless and pathological liars such as Randall William to reverse the gains that have been made for workers. Ours is to champion the interests of workers, a fight which we will fight until the realisation of the salary and wage increases in the City of Tshwane.
The local government elections have no bearing on this fight, but since the Mayor has decided to bring it up as defence through his lies and in the ability to read, the events in Tshwane have shown that Mr. Williams is not a suitable candidate to lead this City.
Issued by SAMWU Tshwane Region
Mpho Tladinyane, Regional Secretary (083 941 5888)
Valentine Matlala, Deputy Regional Secretary (084 465 5598)