Municipal workers threaten to down tools

2009-02-08 00:00

Workers in the Mpofana (Mooi River) Municipality have called for the municipal manager to resign if he fails to address them about the progress of the investigation into the conduct of the former chief financial officer (CFO).

The Witness reported recently that the former CFO, Sibusiso Sithole, allegedly held two jobs for over a month-and-a-half, one at the municipality and another as the director of finance at the Land Affairs Department in Pietermaritzburg, before he handed in his resignation on January 14.

Sithole resigned in November to take the job at Land Affairs, but rescinded his resignation after the council matched the offer from Land Affairs.

However, Land Affairs national spokesman Eddie Mohoebi told The Witness that Sithole started working for the department on December 1, 2008.

SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) shop steward Vusi Zaca said they handed a memorandum to municipal manager Muzi Madlala and seven councillors on January 30 demanding to be addressed about the matter of the former CFO and issues relating to pay progression, service delivery and job creation.

Zaca said some workers are overlooked, some have remained casuals and others are paid less to do the same job.

He said the workers believe the situation was allowed to deteriorate because Madlala had failed to advise council properly.

Zaca said Madlala has to address the workers about “a form of action” today, failing which he must resign or the workers will go on strike.

Madlala said the workers have failed for months to convene a local labour forum meeting, which is a platform for workers to raise such issues with management.

He said the management is willing to engage with the workers, and that if workers want him to resign they should have valid reasons.

“An investigation has been instituted [on the issue of Sithole] and on finalisation a report will be tabled at the full council sitting.”

Mayor Mncedisi Mthethwa said the council is waiting for the report on the former CFO before taking legal action.

As for the threatened strike, Mthethwa said the workers have the right to do so, but that if it infringes on service delivery, action will be taken.

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