Samwu vows to bring West Rand to a standstill over salaries

2018-11-07 18:53


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Residents of the West Rand should brace themselves for a lack of service delivery if the quandary at the West Rand District Municipality in Randfontein is not resolved.

The South African Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) has threatened to bring the entire region to a standstill.

This follows last month's failure by the district municipality to pay salaries, including those of the political leadership.

The municipality has invested R77m in the controversial VBS Mutual Bank, despite serious financial woes.

Municipality speaker, Nonkoliso Tundzi, said they were waiting for the outcomes of a report from a task team Premier David Makhura had appointed to intervene in the matter.

Tundzi said Makhura's team included MECs Panyaza Lesufi, Barbara Creecy, Jacob Mamabolo, Mayor Boysie Maneli and other senior municipality officials.

"I don't know how the mood is in the municipality for now because I am not office bound. I believe that a solution would be found. We are awaiting the outcomes of the report from the officials that have been deployed by Makhura to be made public before I can comment," she said.   

READ: West Rand District Municipality workers go home to wait for salaries

Samwu regional secretary Siseko Siyothula said they were planning to bring services in the entire region to a halt.

Lobbying other municipalities

The union is currently lobbying Merafong, Mogale City and Rand West local municipalities to stand in solidarity with their affected colleagues at the district municipality.

"We want the three municipalities to join us and [bring] the entire West Rand to a standstill until the matter has been resolved. Workers are also planning to march to the offices of the Gauteng Premier David Makhura.

"[A] municipal fleet of vehicles, including fire engines, will be left at Makhura's offices so that he can drive them himself and service the West Rand.

"The situation in that municipality is pathetic. They sold one of their buildings last week for R5m to pay outstanding salaries. We are worried [about] where this month's salaries will come from.

"We are pleading with national and provincial Treasury to rescue the situation. If not, we will render the entire West Rand ungovernable," he said.

Employees to lose properties

Many workers, including councillors, are at risk of losing their properties due to the failure of the municipality to also pay allowances.

Other allowances, including medial aid, pension and provident funds, mortgage bonds, life insurances and others have not been paid since August.

READ:Workers at VBS-linked West Rand municipality stage council chambers sit-in over unpaid salaries

Last week, workers staged a sit-in at the municipal chambers and held the entire executive leadership, including opposition parties, at bay, demanding their salaries. The wage impasse lasted for hours until promises were made in the early hours of the morning.

By Friday, only salaries were paid - not allowances.

Read more on:    david makhura  |  johannesburg  |  service delivery  |  protests  |  labour

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