'We'll bring Tshwane to a halt'

2010-01-13 21:05

Johannesburg - The SA Municipal Workers' Union has threatened to bring services to a halt in Tshwane should the municipality continue using contract workers.

The process to rid the municipality of contract workers was ongoing, Samwu Tshwane branch secretary Zebulon Monkoe said in a statement on Wednesday.

In 2008 the union and city Mayor Gwen Ramokgopa discussed the matter and signed a memorandum of understanding.

A key clause in the memorandum was that on the expiry of contracts with outsourced labour, the municipality would employ workers directly and not extend the previous contracts.

"Despite the memorandum of understanding between Samwu and the executive Mayor of Tshwane there are labour broking companies which are still operating within the municipality, and one of them is a company called Capacity," Monkoe said.

Union's claims 'not factual'

The contract with this company was meant to end in July 2009, but the municipality began renewing it on a month-to-month basis.

"The issues of dispute and strike action to follow are a result of the lopsided implementation of the memorandum of understanding that had been reached between Samwu and the executive mayor."

Tshwane municipality spokesperson Console Tleane said an application submitted by Samwu to the metro for a march on Thursday was declined due to a "technicality".

The union's claims about contract workers were also not based on facts.

"The contract with the company Capacity was extended to allow the city to reconfigure its structure to create new vacancies to accommodate these positions as they did not exist on the current structure.

Also, necessary funds had to be allocated in accordance with the city's approved remuneration benchmark."

Capacity and another labour broker Milnex, were contracted to provide lorry drivers and general workers. The city however began implementing a plan to phase out labour brokers.

Milnex was phased out in September 2008 and 1 200 of its general workers employed when the company's contracts with council expired, Tleane said.

The contract with Capacity would conclude soon.