The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) in Gauteng Province has noted with concern the decision by the City of Tshwane to illegally lockout employees from accessing their workplaces and municipal vehicles which they use in delivering services to residents. It has also come to our attention that yesterday, 16 August 2023, the City unleashed Red Ants on workers at the Temba Water Department plant who harassed and physically removed the workers from municipal premises. 

As SAMWU, we are concerned that workers who have been reporting for duty as per the July 28 Labour Court rule nisi and the instruction by the Union have been harassed, removed from municipal premises thus rendering them unable to deliver services to residents. 

Our members have also been illegally locked out of municipal premises in Centurion where municipal offices were cordoned off with razor wires thus preventing workers from accessing the workplace. As a result, workers have been clocking in for duty at Tshwane Metro Police vehicles which are stationed outside the offices. 

The actions by the City to illegally lockout employees, harass them and refuse to handover key to municipal fleet has resulted in service delivery backlogs throughout the City. As things stand, the Tshwane Bus Service has temporarily halted operations while workers, especially those from Water and Sanitation are unable to respond to breakdowns. Many areas within the City’s central business district and predominantly black areas such as townships have not been receiving any services from the City. 

These illegal actions by the City are part of the propaganda being spread by the City and its Mayor, which seeks to portray workers as not reporting for duty or having have neglected their duties. Furthermore, these actions are a desperate and idiotic attempt to turn community members against municipal workers, and  have contributed to the lapse in service delivery in Tshwane. 

As a Union, we condemn this poorly planned publicity stance by the City. We have been on record that SAMWU and its members have been complying with the rule nisi issued by the Labour Court. The Union and its legal team are prepared for the Labour Court to fully ventilate the matter. Importantly, the Union has already began work in opposing the exemption application by the City in the Bargaining Council. We remain committed to opposing this frivolous application and ensuring that municipal workers receive their 3.5% and 5.4% salary and wage increases. 

Issued by SAMWU Gauteng Province 

Mpho Tladinyane

Provincial Secretary

083 941 58880 


Precious Theledi

Tshwane Regional Secretary

072 601 8876