Councillors must take pay cut in solidarity with strikers: Cope

2011-08-20 13:03

Councillors throughout the country should take a 10% pay cut in solidarity with striking municipal workers, the Congress of the People (Cope) said today.

“Councillors in their nature are selfless activists with the intention to improve the living standards of South Africans. It is fitting that councillors make this declaration and offer to strengthen their commitment to our people,” Cope regional secretary Sefu Sekgala said.

He said Tshwane councillors Andries Keun and Kedibone Mathebe had already committed themselves to the pledge.

The party also congratulated municipal workers for not supporting the strikes in Tshwane and those who did strike for doing so in a dignified manner.
“The picture we saw of striking municipal workers across other municipalities is shocking,” Sekgala said.

SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) officials have denied claims that disgruntled members were boycotting the national strike because of corruption within its provincial leadership.

The strike for an 18% wage increase started on Monday. The South African Local Government Association (Salga) is offering a 6% increase.

The Buffalo City Municipality in the Eastern Cape today said the strike had affected its payment offices.

“Sixteen satellite offices were closed yesterday because of lack of manpower and due to intimation of working employees by striking members,” spokesperson Keith Ngesi said.

“The disturbance has caused inconvenience to the public wanting to pay their accounts... [We] would like to remind the strikers about the picketing rules and subsequent action to those who refuse to comply,” he said.

A few hundred Samwu members handed over a memorandum of demands at the Salga offices in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, yesterday.

The memorandum asked Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane to speak to Salga officials and convince the employers’ association to accede to workers’ demands.

On Thursday City of Johannesburg spokesperson Nthatisi Modingoane said most municipal departments had shown full attendance despite the strike.
“Work is continuing, none of our services have been affected,” he said.

The SABC reported on Monday that 85% of Samwu members in Gauteng were not taking part in the strike.

Elsewhere in the country this week municipal workers trashed Cape Town, Durban, Pietermaritzburg and Nelspruit.

According to a report in Beeld newspaper yesterday, police ordered the Nelspruit marchers to clean up their mess before allowing them to proceed with their march.

The City of Cape Town on Tuesday was granted an interdict preventing workers from intimidating non-striking employees. The interdict also orders employees in essential services to return to work.

Protesters were seen looting from vendors, setting plastic bins on fire and smashing the windows of vehicles. The city’s main shopping avenue, Adderley Street, was left covered with litter and burnt bins.

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