05 February 2020
SAMWU demands immediate reinstatement of 40 Ekurhuleni employees dismissed to coverup money laundering.
The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) has noted with great disappointment and disgust the irrational decision taken by the Ekurhuleni Metro to summarily dismiss 40 employees of the Environmental Resources and Waste Management Department.
The employer contends that 40 employees were unruly and committed gross misconduct which warrants immediate termination of their contracts of employment without following any disciplinary processes.
When workers reported for duty on Monday 03 February 2020, they were randomly pointed out to Police by management by alleging that they prevented contractors which were illegally appointed by the City to manage waste collection and disposal. Following the employees’ release from the Police custody, the employer proceeded to give the employees letters of immediate dismissal from employment.
For the record, the Ekurhuleni Metro does not need waste collection and disposal contracts, what is needed is capacitation and reinforced staff to ensure that waste is collected and disposed of in line with the City’s schedule.
The City currently have funded vacancies in the waste department but instead of ensuring that these vacancies are filled in line with the City’s employment policies, they have rushed to fill the pockets of tenderpreneurs who are known to be benefactors of politicians in the City.
SAMWU remains opposed to the delivery of services through the tendering process as this is not in the interest of service delivery or workers employed by the contractors. The contractors always charge exorbitant amounts for the same work that municipal employees can do, on top of that the contractors pay their employees peanuts with no job security of benefits.
We are however not surprised that despite talks in the Local Labour Forum not being fully exhausted on the appointment of these contactors in terms of Section 77 and 78 of the Municipal Systems Act, for reasons which have since become obvious, the City rushed to appoint these contactors flouting legal prescripts in the process.
We are aware that politicians in the City are positioning themselves for elective congresses of the ANC and as such they have seen an opportunity to launder money through these contractors to boost their candidature using taxpayers’ money. We will not be silent when municipal resources are corruptly used for politiking at the expense of service delivery.
To show that this contracting business is a front to allow politicians to launder the City’s resources, these contractors have been invoicing the City for work that had not been done or work that was completed by employees of the City. We therefore caution to desist from provoking municipal workers and declaring a war with them as this is a war that municipal workers are ready to fight to the bitter end.
We will fearlessly fight for the immediate reinstatement of these employees as we believe the City flouted provisions of the Labour Relations Act and does not have any cause to dismiss these employees. Over and above this, the terminations are meant to instill fear amongst workers while further ensuring that more money is laundered for political purposes.
Issued by SAMWU Secretariat
(073 254 9394),
Deputy General Secretary
(076 580 4029)
National Media Officer
(073 710 0356)