10 October 2017
SAMWU Statement on the Unfortunate Remarks by the General Secretary
The South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) has noted remarks which have been brought to our attention by members and concerned citizens made by the General Secretary Comrade Simon Mathe over the weekend in Aganang, Limpopo.
It should be noted that the General Secretary was not addressing a SAMWU event but that of the ANC when making the remarks which have tribalistic connotations. Despite the remarks being made in his capacity as a member of the ANC, we feel it very important that we should distance ourselves from such remarks as they may be considered to be the view of the union, which they definitely are not.
SAMWU President Pule Molalenyane expressed concern over the utterances particularly given the challenges of tribalism which we have been seen in Vuwani also in Limpopo. “We are a democratic union which has members in all municipalities and their entities in the country. Colour, gender or tribe is not our preoccupation but the emancipation of workers from the ruthless hands of the employer” said Molalenyane.
“Municipalities across the country have recruitment policies in place, we believe that those recruitment policies should be the guiding tool for employment of all workers but not on the basis on which tribe they belong to” added Molalenyane.
Guided by the union’s aims and objectives as set out in Clause 2.1.4 that the union aims “to build an organization free of any discrimination or unequal treatment or unequal treatment with respect to race, gender, disability, creed, age or any arbitrary ground”, we the take serious exception to the remarks particularly coming from a union leader.
We sincerely apologize for the discomfort, harm and pain that has been caused by the unfortunate remarks which were made by the union’s General Secretary albeit him not having been representing the union when such remarks were made. We further apologize to our members particularly our Vhenda speaking members who may have felt that such remarks are a direct attack on them, indicating that they are only suitable to be employed in Vhenda and nowhere else, further insinuating that they belong in Vhenda and nowhere else in the country.
The union’s National Office Bearers have therefore mandated the President, Pule Molalenyane to urgently seek a meeting between ourselves and the Polokwane City Mayor, Comrade Thembi Nkadimeng to personally apologize and further clarify that those remarks made are not a representation of SAMWU.
Issued by SAMWU Head Office
Deputy General Secretary
082 899 2169
National Media Officer
073 710 0356