City of Tshwane obtains urgent interdict against striking workers affiliated to Samwu

A man flies the Samwu flag during a protest in Johannesburg. (Cornel Van Heerden, Gallo Images, Beeld, file)
A man flies the Samwu flag during a protest in Johannesburg. (Cornel Van Heerden, Gallo Images, Beeld, file)
  • The City of Tshwane has obtained an urgent interdict against workers affiliated to Samwu.
  • The City's head administrator, Mpho Nawa has urged striking workers to comply with the order and return to the negotiation table.
  • Samwu could not be immediately be reached for comment.

The City of Tshwane has obtained an urgent interdict against workers affiliated with the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu).

The said order prohibits workers from:

  • Blocking or interfering with the traffic flow in the Pretoria CBD without proper authority being obtained for a protest march.
  • Damaging any property of the applicant (City of Tshwane), residents or business owners in the City of Tshwane and
  • Threatening, manhandling or assaulting any employee or contractor of the applicant (CoT).

This after the City's head office, Tshwane House, was damaged during a Samwu protest last Tuesday.

News24 previously reported bins were emptied and litter was strewn on the streets.

This stems from an ongoing labour dispute between the City and union members.

According to the City, the dispute had led to "a devastating impact on the provision of service delivery across all seven regions".

READ | Tshwane House building damaged in protest as Samwu threatens 'war' over wages

In addition, workers, who reported for duty in certain regions, were allegedly threatened and offices were forcefully closed by striking workers, it added.

"Management has conceded to one of the workers' demands of the payment of the annual wage increment, which would be paid on Wednesday, 29 July 2020," the City said in a statement on Monday.

"The leadership of the municipality has made it abundantly clear to the labour union representatives that the City's finances were in dire straits and thus cannot afford to pay the workers their outstanding benchmarking monies at this juncture," it added.

Tshwane's head administrator, Mpho Nawa, has pleaded with striking workers to comply with the order and return to the negotiation table.

"Workers have an inalienable right to protest peacefully and not to threaten, intimidate or destroy property. We hope that the court order will be complied with and workers would return to work and provide the much-needed services to our communities.

"The City's finances are in a precarious state currently, and if we attempt to pay the benchmarking monies we would be crippling the municipality and be forced to retrench the workers. We have bent over backwards to pay workers the annual wage increment amid very tight budgetary constraints.

"We humbly apologise to our communities for the inconvenience they've endured due to the strike," Nawa said.

News24 reached out to Samwu for comment. It will be added once it is received.

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