The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) is dismayed by the attitude of the DA-led multiparty coalition towards the residents and workers of the City. Councillors from the coalition that includes DA, ActionSA, FF+, IFP, ACDP boycotted today’s special Council meeting that was called by the Speaker of Council, Cllr Mncedi Ndzwanana, where the sole agenda of the meeting was for Council to discuss on the current state of affairs of the City of Tshwane.
The Executive Mayor and his party, the DA have been on record stating that they need calm and stability returned to the City. If the Executive Mayor is genuine about restoring calm in the City, why does his party and its coalition partners refuse to honour intervention by Council, the highest decision making body in the municipality, to find a solution to the current service delivery crises? We also question the City Manager’s timing of taking leave the same day that Council is seating, which appears to be a deliberate move to also boycott the special Council meeting.
It has been four weeks of service instability which was caused by the arrogance of the leadership of the city, whom at every given opportunity run to the media to seek public sympathy but refuse to listen to others who want to offer solutions to the current impasse. The challenges faced by workers in Tshwane are as a result of decisions taken by Council, it is this very same Council that has the ability to rectify the mistakes they made, redeem themselves and restore sound labour relations and service delivery to workers and residents respectively.
As a Union, we have been on record that our members are not on strike and that everyone should be at their work station and serve the residents of Tshwane. However, it’s very concerning that the same employer doesn’t allow workers an opportunity to execute their duties. Drivers can’t access busses to ferry residents, maintenance and technicians can’t use work vehicles to respond to outages, metre readers can’t do their work as they rely on city transportation which is locked in by the employer. As a result of these City’s actions, many residents of Tshwane are likely to receive incorrect billing, reject to pay those inaccurate bills and worsen the financial state of the City.
In Some service delivery depots such as Centurion, workers are locked outside and are made to sign attendance register outside the gates inside their supervisors’ cars. In a nutshell, the employer doesn’t want to make the working environment conducive to employees. These are some of the instances which have resulted in residents not receiving the much needed services from the City.
The challenges faced by workers and residents seemingly do not concern the Executive Mayor and the Da-led coalition. If workers and residents’ plights were of concern to this multiparty coalition, all Councillors would have attended today’s seating and fulfil the purpose for which it was called for.
SAMWU appreciates the work done by opposition parties in Council to try and intervene. The Union will work with any party that is willing to ensure that the City of Tshwane works for its people. The DA-led coalition has missed an opportunity to service residents of Tshwane. As SAMWU, we remain open to all proposals that will lead to solutions that addresses issues faced by workers and residents alike.
Issued by SAMWU Gauteng Province
083 941 5888
Tshwane Regional Secretary
072 601 8876