01 January 2020
SAMWU New Year Message
The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) wishes it’s 160 000 members, their families and South Africans in general, a happy and prosperous new year.
The previous year has undoubtedly been eventful, trying and testing for the country, but most particularly for municipal workers and the union. We also lost members and activists who had dedicated their lives to ensuring that the rot that was in municipalities, especially those of VBS Mutual Bank illegal deposits were exposed and perpetrators jailed.
We therefore welcome the progress that has been made on this regard wherein a suspect who was initially charged with intimidation has now had an additional charge of murder added. We remain hopeful that this year, we will see more arrests and justice served for the murders of Comrades Ronald Mani and Thomson Tshililo.
We have spent majority of last year implementing resolutions of the April and May Central Executive Committee (CEC) meetings which adopted a roadmap for the renewal, rebuilding of the union which would culminate in the convening of the union’s 12th National Congress scheduled to be held in March this year.
To this end, we are on track to taking the union to it’s 12th National Congress, with the conclusion of Regional Shop Steward Councils. Already Limpopo Province has held it’s Provincial Congress while other provinces will be holding theirs from the second week of January.
We therefore thank our members for the commitment, dedication and patience that they have shown and displayed in ensuring that they assist the union in moving forward.
We further thank the union’s members for sticking with the union through thick and thin, especially for being with us throughout our painful past.
We also extend our appreciation to the union’s staff who have been the backbone and pillar of this union and those continue to service municipal workers without fail. We trust that this year will be no different and that our staff will return with renewed zeal to continue championing the interests of municipal workers.
Our renewed zeal this year will focus on one of the most important principles of the union, collective bargaining in the interest of our members. There are three items which will come before the South African Local Government Bargaining Council (SALGBC) which are salary and wage negotiations, pension fund restructuring and housing allowance for all municipal workers who fall within the SALGBC scope.
We therefore encourage our members to actively and fully participate in the mandate taking processes that we will have in the form of general meetings. We are taking back the union to its rightful owners, which are members and as such we want them to be involved throughout these processes to ensure that whatever agreement we reach would be bring fundamental change to their lives.
We will also be engaging Expended Public Works Programme (EPWP) employees across the country with the intention of ensuring that we take an item to the SALGBC that would see their absorption as permanent employees, directly employed by municipalities. This because we know that EPWP is exploitative in nature and that these workers are performing permanent functions of municipalities and as such they should be permanently and directly employed by municipalities with all benefits currently extended to municipal workers.
We will also be intensifying our campaigns for decent work for all municipal workers and those rendering related services. To this end, we will be launching campaigns that would focus on the ending of the delivery of services by municipalities through the tendering and outsourcing system. Our interest is to see all workers who are rendering municipal services being permanently and directly employed by municipalities, from cleaning, catering, security and EPWP.
Finally, we invite all municipal workers particularly those who are not members of the union to join us on this exciting, reloaded and rebuilding process as we continue to champion the interests of municipal workers of South Africa.
Happy new year!
Issued by SAMWU NOBs