The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) in the Free State has learned with deep concern, through its Affiliates NEHAWU and SAMWU, that Bloemwater has started a process which may lead to retrenchments. We would like to state it unequivocally clear that we would oppose any move to retrench workers in that and any other entity.
We are informed that the process of engagement has started titled, “Sustainability of the entity into the future”. Though the discussions do not purport to be invoking LRA Section 189, the wording is quite worrying as it seems to be going into that direction. We will continue to engage to seek solutions as the continued operations of the entity is in our best interests as workers and as residents.
We know from the public discourse that municipalities have not been honouring their payment arrangements with the entity. The Municipalities are the only clients of Bloemwater and their failure to pay would have dire consequences on the functioning of the organization. We have noted with deep disappointment the terrible way in which this matter has been handled by municipalities and the entity in the public square.
This state has or should have policies to guide it when there are issues of non-payment by clients. We, therefore, call on the Board and Management of the entity to activate its internal processes for debt collection and to ensure that the entity does not collapse.
We take this opportunity to remind the deployees in the entity and the municipalities that their primary responsibility is to provide clean running water to our workplaces and our residential areas.
We would not accept the situation where workers become victims of municipal intransigence. Workers should not be used as sacrificial lambs for the mismanagement of the entity.
We call on the leadership of Bloemwater to ensure that the entity delivers on its mandate. To achieve this, the whole staff compliment of Bloemwater should be retained and new employees and young workers should be brought into the system to ensure continuity of operations!
Issued by COSATU Free State
Enquiries Provincial Secretary Monyatso oa Mahlatsi @ 051 447 5499 or 076 115 9923