The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) in Ekurhuleni is delighted at the outcome of the South African Local Government Bargaining Council (SALGBC) which reinstated 52 workers who were unfairly dismissed by the City of Ekurhuleni over two years ago. The 52 workers who are at the employ of the City’s Kempton Park Waste Management services were opportunistically, recklessly and unfairly accused of burning a City contractor’s truck.
The Centurion division of the SALGBC heard the matter which involved the dismissal of workers without following any internal disciplinary hearing. The SALGBC has in its ruling ordered the reinstatement of these workers with a backpay of a combined amount of over R3 million. The SALGBC further ruled that these workers be reinstated as of 1 May 2022. We are pleased to announce that these workers are already back at work, although they are still reeling from the trauma that was inflicted on them by the City.
As SAMWU, we joyously welcome this ruling, in welcoming the ruling, we also note that the City will suffer serious financial losses as a result of their arrogance towards these workers. It is for this reason that as SAMWU, we call on the City to personally recoup these financial losses from the individuals who were responsible for the summarily dismissal of these workers.
Our demand for people to be held responsible is based on the fact that the City would have not incurred such losses had the individuals followed the correct disciplinary processes as outlined by the Disciplinary Code of the SALGBC, which the City is party to. More importantly, it is our firm view that recouping these losses personally from the decision makers will deter municipalities and senior managers to dismiss workers willy-nilly, without following any due processes.
This demand will further erode the new norm that has been inculcated by incompetent City officials who defraud the City by appointing lawyers with the aim of charging workers with frivolous and vexatious charges knowingly so. We have many experiences in the City wherein law enforcement agencies and lawyers have been used to to silence union leadership and members for voicing out their frustrations and exposing fraud, corruption and maladministration in the City.
As SAMWU, we will be following through on the demand for people to be held personally responsible and liable for the wastages incurred by the City. This victory is not only for these 52 workers but for the entire workforce of the City of Ekhuruleni. Importantly, this victory is a sign that SAMWU is still a force to be reckoned with. We further thank our members for having have trusted us in representing them in this case.
We lastly thank the union leadership for having have prioritised this matter to ensure that these workers are reinstated. This is further testament that SAMWU remains the only hope for the country’s municipal workers. We therefore take this opportunity to encourage all municipal workers to join SAMWU so they can be part of the winning team.
Issued by SAMWU Ekurhuleni Region
Kraai Bhekizizwe, Regional Secretary 063 802 2236 or Mpho Meso, Deputy Regional Secretary 078 408 1107