The South African Municipal Workers Union in the Free State Province is disturbed that 25 years into democracy we are still faced with the situation where municipal workers across the province die whilst on duty due to serious and appalling health and safety conditions they are subjected to work under.
What is more sickening and worrisome is that state institutions such as municipalities which should be at the forefront in ensuring that workers terms and conditions of service are habitable and conducive instead there are the worst culprits and perpetrators of this malice.
We also experienced seriously disdain and hopelessness on the part of the authority responsible for ensuring employers across the divide uphold the rule of law and abide by legislation. The department of labour has not been helpful either instead we saw in certain instances DOL issuing compliance orders but no prosecution is meted despite continued defiance by municipalities.
To quote few incidents is that in the following municipalities the following have been recorded and reported
2. In Matjhabeng Municipality near Welkom we experienced injuries and death of our members who were subjected to work under dangerous and hazardous conditions and the municipality has not taken responsibility for the death of Advocate Mandisi Ndambi, Doctor Monyane and Ntswaki Semela who perished in the line of duty. This Municipality has also failed to pay the Workmans Compensation from 2017.
3. In Moqhaka Municipality we had IOD Injury on duty of Frans Tseole and even here the municipality failed to take responsibility resulting in the employee having to use his medical aid to offset the medical bills. This coming weekend of the 19th January 2019 we will be laying to rest Diketso Pitso who also lost her life whilst working at an unsafe municipal cesspool.
5. In Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality we learned about the death of Seipati Lechoano whose inert body was found in the boot of her car during December 2018 vacation.
1. The questions which remain unanswered and mysterious is why there was a lapse of the three fold security detail at the building being the warm blood personnel, biometric system for access as well video cameras.
a. All this mysterious questions which speaks to authority and we therefore have no option but to call all our members to blatantly refuse to perform dangerous and hazardous work.
b. We demand that the DOL should inspect and audit all municipal buildings across the province for health and safety checks and precaution.
(c)That all buildings that are declared safe be issued with clearance certificate and such should be on display before our members can enter to render service.
(d) Declare that where we experience death of any municipal employee due contraventions of the OHSA we deem that municipality a war zone and we halt production until action is taken.
(e) We will be rolling out mass education to highlight the plight of members who dies and got injuries like at the hands of Municipalities and Municipal Managers.
It is high time that authorities learn that the lives of municipal worker do matter.
Issued by SAMWU Free State
082 620 9160
Deputy Provincial Secretary
084 375 8105