The Congress of South African Trade Unions in the Free State has filed the Labour Relations Act Section 77 Notice with the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) on the lack of water and electricity supply in Maluti-A-Phofung Municipality. The section provides for a notice in the labour relations which declares the intention to engage in a socio-economic motivated industrial action based on the challenges that are facing our members in the area.
This decision was taken careful consideration and multiple failed attempts to have it resolved for the benefit of the community and workers in the area. As COSATU, we are fully aware of the framework and rules of this law. The Section 77 notice compels NEDLAC to convene and facilitate a solution-seeking engagement between the applicants (COSATU) and the respondents [Office of Deputy President, Office of the Premier, Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, COGTA (National), ESKOM, Maluti-A-Phofung Municipality & Department of Water Affairs and Sanitation].
We have confidence in NEDLAC’s processes and believe that we will be able to engage amicably with the responsible stakeholders to find a permanent solution to this problem. As per their responsibilities, the respondents have an obligation to reflect on their previous and current efforts to address this violation of human rights and government’s failure to provide basic services to the people of Maluti-A-Phofung.
As the Federation, we also live through the impact of unreliable water and electricity supply in MAP and know of its dire distraction. We have a major number of workers who have lost their income due to a halt in production. Workers in the production space depend on electricity to sustain operations and to make a living as they are paid hourly. Companies affected the most have had to shut down due to lack of reliable electricity and water supply in the area. Workers have lost their livelihood and that has exacerbated poverty in this already impoverished municipality.
Workers in MAP are facing double jeopardy as they are struggling to provide for their families. They are drowning in debt due to the constant daily purchase of food that must be cooked immediately. This situation has worsened and continues to compromise workers. As the Federation we have a responsibility to look after the interest of our members, both at the workplace and at home!
We are already mobilising our members to prepare themselves for any eventuality in the engagements. Should a permanent solution not be found, we will have no choice but to arrange a demonstration and demand an immediate resolution on the matter.
The struggle continues!
Issued by COSATU Free State
Enquiries Provincial Secretary Monyatso oa Mahlatsi @ 051 447 5499 or 076 115 9923