More security for municipal bosses’ meeting

2011-08-18 07:03

The City of Cape Town will deploy more police officers during the two-day meeting of the country’s municipal bosses at its council chambers.

The SA Local Government Association (Salga) is convening the meeting of municipal managers from today but there are fears striking workers may disrupt the meeting, which ends on Friday.

The meeting will help it develop its programme of action, among other things, according to Salga.

SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) members looted street traders’ stalls on Tuesday after their march to the City of Cape Town council chambers at the Civic Centre.

“The heightened security measures that have been been in place since the strike began will remain,” City of Cape Town spokesperson Kylie Hatton said.

Both unions representing striking workers, Samwu and the Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union, were demanding an 18% increase for their members. Salga was offering only 6.08%.

Hatton said the City of Cape Town was not expecting another march to the Civic Centre because Samwu did not have permission to march today.

However, Samwu provincial secretary Andre Adams said workers did not require permission to picket.

“We’ll picket outside the Civic Centre in terms of our programme,” Adams said.

He was not aware of the municipal managers’ meeting.

The City of Cape Town planned to take action against employees who were involved in Tuesday’s damage to property and looting, according to Hatton.

Adams said Samwu was investigating whether any of its members were involved in Tuesday’s chaos.

“We can’t characterise the strike as mayhem. People tend to focus on isolated incidents,” he said.

If the municipal workers’ strike continued for up to a month, another high-level meeting of local government bosses could be affected.

Salga was due to hold its three-day national conference from August 30 at Durban’s International Convention Centre.

The event was expected to elect a new national executive committee and review Salga’s operations since its last conference in April 2007.

Salga’s Milisa Kentane was not immediately available for comment.

» Meanwhile, Samwu vowed to bring Gauteng to a standstill on Friday, Colleen Silinda reports.

The union’s chairperson, Koena Ramotlou, said members would be taking to the streets on Friday.

“All Gauteng regions should come out and show people that we are serious about our wages,” he said.

While it was believed that some of the workers in Johannesburg were at work yesterday, Ramotlou said the Vaal, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni were taking the strike seriously.

“Come Friday we will be able to make sure that all members are out on strike. We are expecting all the cities to stand still,” said the union’s chairperson. 

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