'Disgruntled workers' responsible for Mangaung City Hall fire - Arrive Alive

2017-06-21 22:07
The city hall on fire in Bloemfontein. (Arrive Alive)

The city hall on fire in Bloemfontein. (Arrive Alive)

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Bloemfontein - Disgruntled workers, allegedly affiliated with Samwu are said to have been responsible for the blaze that has engulfed the City Hall in Mangaung, Arrive Alive said in a statement on Wednesday night. 

According to Arrive Alive, municipal workers started a fire inside the Bloemfontein City Hall after clashes with police in the city's central business district on Wednesday evening.  

Municipal workers, allegedly affiliated with the South African Municipal Workers Union, were supposed to meet with the union's chairperson earlier in the day, following allegations that more than 100 workers were going to be dismissed. 

Police used stun grenades and rubber bullets to disperse the workers, Arrive Alive told News24. The workers then allegedly set the city hall on fire.

Around 19:30, the fire appeared to be under control, but it picked up again later. Three fire trucks were battling the blaze. 

Roads around the area had been closed off.

Earlier, Samwu released a statement, saying that it had served the employer with notice that they intended going on a full-blown strike.

"As of May 16, workers at the municipality have withdrawn their labour until such time that their demands are met."

Some of Samwu's demands include the end to the termination of temporary workers employment contracts; unpaid salaries to temporary workers for the month ending on April 25; absorption of temporary workers; and salary adjustments of employees, in terms of the status of Mangaung Metro Municipality.

The union said its workers would be delivering a memorandum of demands to the City and Centlec. It said this would be followed by protests and pickets.

"Workers are resolute that they will not be returning to their work stations until all these demands are met," Samwu said.

Read more on:    bloemfontein  |  fires

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