SAMWU welcomes SALGBC ruling dismissing Cederberg Local Municipality’s decision to deny workers salary increases

The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) in the Western Cape province notes and welcomes the decision by the South African Local Government Bargaining Council (SALGBC) senior panellist which dismissed the application for the Cederberg Local Municipality to be exempted from the salary and wage collective agreement that was concluded in 2021. 

 According to the 3-year salary and wage collective agreement which was signed by all parties in the SALGBC which the Cederberg Local Municipality is party to, all municipal workers are to receive a 4.9 salary increase, along with increases in the sectoral minimum wage and housing allowance for the financial year July 2022 to June 2023. Instead of complying with the agreement in July this year, the Cederberg Local Municipality took a decision to deny workers salary increases and applied for exemption only in the month of August. 

Despite the poverty plea that is forever used by municipalities when they apply for exemption, the senior panellist found that representatives of Cederberg Local Municipality deliberately misrepresented their financial situation, further adding that the municipality does have the resources to fully fund these increases which are due to municipal workers who have, despite the deliberate attempt to deny them salary increases continued to deliver services to residents. 

As SAMWU, we have always been of the view that many municipalities which apply for exemption do so as a cost cutting exercise which is detrimental to workers’ livelihoods and morale in the workplace. In the case of the Cederberg Local Municipality, they went as far as misrepresenting their financials, arguing that their revenue had declined while the opposite was actually true. 

We will continue monitoring the situation at the Cederberg Local Municipality to ensure compliance with the SALGBC ruling while also ensuring that all municipalities in the country honour the salary and wage collective agreement. We cannot allow a situation wherein workers’ and their livelihoods are sacrificed by municipalities who have failed to ensure good and sound governance. 

Issued by SAMWU Secretariat

Dumisane Magagula

General Secretary

076 580 4029

Or 

John Mcanjane

Western Cape Provincial Secretary 

073 644 9580