Samwu split on council’s role

2010-09-08 00:00

A RIFT about what they want achieved in the cash-strapped Msunduzi Municipality has resulted in two camps being at loggerheads within the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu).

According to sources who spoke to The Witness on condition of anonymity, one camp wants all the councillors kicked out, citing that they are “just earning their salaries for nothing”.

This camp is of the view that councillors are no longer executives since the power to make decisions resides with the municipal administrator, Johann Mettler.

KZN Samwu chairperson, John Dlamini, said he supports the dissolution of councillors because their municipality was cash-strapped and they “cannot do any work” in their wards. Dlamini said that there was no money to pay for Samwu members and for projects in wards and other developments. “They must pack and go. What are they still doing?” he asked.

The opposing camp in Samwu is set on retaining the councillors beyond the 2011 local government elections, in order to advance some of their demands.

The rift, according to sources, have even led to the stalling of the re-election of the local office bearers which was supposed to happen two weeks after the passing of a vote of no confidence on the office bearers. It is now six weeks after the vote was passed.

The sources claim that the union’s provincial leadership was interfering with this process because it wants to install its preferred candidates who will apparently march against Mettler.

They will reportedly also demand the reinstatement of council employees who were demoted from their senior positions by the intervention team.

Yesterday, about 33 Samwu members in the Fleet Management section threatened to resign from the union because they felt that the some members of the union’s branch executive committee were neglecting their responsibilities in dealing with staff concerns.

They recently passed a vote of no confidence to committee’s secretary, whose name is known to The Witness, and they have threatened to resign if she does not remove herself.

Dlamini said that he was aware of the vote against the secretary and that the matter was being dealt with by the provincial government.

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