Workers affiliated with the South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) at the Mogalakwena local municipality in Limpopo have launched a two-week lunch-hour picket against the termination of 400 employment contracts and other demands.
The future of the reportedly irregularly appointed staff is uncertain at the municipality, which is currently being investigated by the Special Investigating Unit.
The workers’ picket over several demands started last week Friday. The protest has been planned to continue until next week Friday. They are complaining about the shortage of working tools such as vehicles, and personal protective equipment.
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They are also demanding the filling of managerial positions, including municipal managers. The uncertainty about 400 workers who were allegedly irregularly appointed two years ago is however SAMWU’s biggest concern.
SAMWU chairperson in the Mogalakwena Municipality, Levycent Chipana says they are against the intention to dismiss the workers. “There are issues that we are concerned with, they range from looming dismissal of about 400 employees – we are ready to take them head on legally. These officials have been appointed far too long; we do not have PPE it has been two years there are also no tools of work. If they don’t meet our demands, we will definitely put our tools down and go to the streets,” added Chipana.
Mogalakwena local municipality spokesperson, Malesela Selokela says the matter relating to the appointment of more than 400 workers is sub judicare.
“In terms of working tools, vehicles like your water tankers – the municipality is still struggling with revenue collection. Hopefully, in a short time, those managers will be employed. I cannot guarantee their future because that matter is still sub judicare. So, I cannot confirm whether they will be expelled or they will still have a future with the municipality,” says Selokela.
The municipal manager’s position at the Mogalakwena Municipality became vacant following the resignation of Beverly Gunqisa last year. The appointment of her replacement was halted last week due to a deadlock in the council.
Other councilors supported a candidate who came second during the interview, while others preferred the candidate who came first.
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