24 January 2024

The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) will be embarking on protected strike action in Mathjabeng starting January 29, 2024. This decision follows numerous meetings with members after unsuccessful attempts to address critical worker-related issues with the management of Matjhabeng Local Municipality.

On September 7, 2023, SAMWU organised a march to record the issues in dispute. Unfortunately, the Union was met with resistance from the Executive Mayor of Matjhabeng Local Municipality, who outright refused to receive the memorandum, displaying a dismissive attitude. Despite persistent efforts to mediate the dispute, the impasse continued, with the Executive Mayor undermining the administration and operations of the municipality, resulting in the regression of bargaining agreements.

A dispute of mutual interest was declared with the Bargaining Council, and the matter was heard on November 8, 2023. The employer requested engagement, which SAMWU accepted in the hopes of finding common ground. However, these attempts proved futile, leading the Bargaining Council to issue a ruling on December 6, 2023, granting SAMWU the right to embark on a protected strike. Members were briefed in December, and preparations for the strike have been underway.

A meeting with community stakeholders in Matjhabeng is scheduled for January 23, 2024, where SAMWU will present their program of action. Additionally, a member update is planned for January 26, 2024, in preparation for the launch of the legal strike on January 29, 2024. This strike includes a march to hand over a memorandum to the Executive Mayor and the MEC for COGTA. SAMWU sincerely hopes for a more cooperative response from the Executive Mayor this time.

SAMWU is fully aware of attempts by the Executive Mayor to instil fear and division among workers. It’s important to emphasize that all employees are hired by the Matjhabeng Local Municipality through the Municipal Manager. No amount of intimidation will deter SAMWU’s commitment to reclaim and defend bargaining rights, ultimately protecting the dignity of the community.

Issued by SAMWU Free State Province

Tiisetso Mahlatsi

Provincial Secretary

079 152 9648


Papikie Mohale

National Media Officer

076 795 8670