Workers warn Msunduzi

2016-11-18 10:59
More than 500 Samwu workers marched from Dales Park to the city hall on Thursday to hand over a memorandum demanding their contracts with Msunduzi Municipality be renewed. The protesters trashed Church Street along the way.

More than 500 Samwu workers marched from Dales Park to the city hall on Thursday to hand over a memorandum demanding their contracts with Msunduzi Municipality be renewed. The protesters trashed Church Street along the way. (Ian Carbutt)

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Over 500 municipal workers took to the streets on Thursday demanding their contracts with Msunduzi Municipality be renewed.

In their memorandum, the workers gave the municipality until next Tuesday to respond and threatened to protest every Thursday at the city hall if their demands are not answered.

The workers marched from Dales Park to the hall, flinging rubbish and toppling concrete bins along the way.

The memorandum could not be handed over to the municipality because there was no one to receive it.

Msunduzi municipal spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha did not respond to media inquiries by the time of going to print.

Although the workers’ demands surround their contracts, their biggest issue seems to be with Msunduzi Mayor Themba Njilo, Deputy Mayor Thobani Zuma and Speaker Jabu Ngubo.

Cracks in the ANC-led tripartite alliance were visible as alliance leaders called for Njilo’s head. They did not mince their words as they said Njilo should go back to being an undertaker, saying he had no political credentials.

South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) provincial leader Rodney Madondo said the municipality was lacking leadership and direction.

“We do not understand who is the mayor here,” he said.

Madondo warned that the municipality might regress to administration again, alleging there were many “corrupt activities” taking place at the municipality.

He warned political heads and officials that the workers will continue with protests until their demands are met.

“This is a start. I hope they are listening. If they are not willing to listen, they must leave the municipality,” he said.

South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) regional secretary in the Moses Mabhida region Vusi Ntshangase described the municipality as “rotten to the core”.

“It is run by people who have questionable administrative credentials. They only care about feeding their own stomachs.

“If they think we will back down on our demands, they must think again. If they do not respond to our demands, we will make sure that the mayoral imbizo does not take place in Willowfountain … and Tamboville.

“We will make this city ungovernable. We will be burning tyres on all the streets,” he said.

In the memorandum, Samwu said they were united against the “super-exploitation” of workers in Msunduzi Municipality.

They asked for the organogram to be refined to incorporate all positions that were “unjustifiably” left out when designing the new structure. Part of that demand was that job descriptions be developed in consultation with the unions “in an effort to eliminate possible manipulation of the system”.

Msunduzi Municipality would not employ those under the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) as they were not mandated to do so.

Deputy municipal manager Dr Ray Ngcobo said in yesterday’s executive committee meeting thaat the EPWP was a national programme and Msunduzi was only the host.

He said there was specific funding and a specific time-frame for the programme.

“They get their stipend and leave at the end of the programme. There is no employment relation with the host municipality,” Ngcobo said.

EPWP workers make up some of the 1 000 workers whose contracts have ended.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  msunduzi municipality

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