SAMWU response to reckless and irresponsible statement by ANC Amathole region

18 January 2021

SAMWU response to reckless and irresponsible statement by ANC Amathole region

The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) has learnt with shock and disgust the comments made by the ANC Amathole Regional Secretary, Mr. Teris Ntutu in which he alleges that unions and the Eastern Cape Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) are plotting against the Amathole District Municipality management and that workers have deliberately sabotaged the delivery of services at the institution.

The comments by Mr. Ntutu were made a few days after SAMWU demanded that the ADM be placed under administration following a circular by the Municipal Manager, Dr Mnyimba informing workers that they would not be getting their salaries for the moths of February, March, April, May and June 2021.

First and foremost, the ANC as they claim to be the “leader of society” were supposed to be the first to call out the municipality for its intention of wanting workers to slave for 5 months without receiving a salary. They would have been the first to demand that no worker must go a day without receiving their salaries, particularly given the hardship faced by all South Africans during this pandemic.

Mr. Ntutu would have called on the municipality to pay workers their salary and wage increments which has been due since July 2020 as per the salary and wage agreement which the ADM is party and parcel to and the award of the South African Local Government Bargaining Council (SALGBC) which compelled the municipality to pay workers their salary increases.

Instead, Mr. Ntutu is encouraging the municipal management to engage in a poorly executed public relation exercise which seeks to influence the SALGBC’s decision in the appeal by the municipality thus reneging on a legal and binding agreement between workers and the municipality.

If Mr. Ntutu and the ANC which is governing in the municipality were really leaders of society which they claim to be, they would have voiced out their frustration and concerns that the non-payment of salaries will have on service delivery and the residents which they are supposed to be serving.

Instead of reigning in on their deployees who have dismally failed the municipality, residents and workers by ensuring that there is good governance, accountability and the continuation of service delivery, Mr. Ntutu makes some serious allegations with are farfetched, irresponsible and devoid of any truth.

Our call for the resignation of the Municipal Manager, is informed by the fact he has failed in his duties as the accounting officer of the institution. The challenges faced by the municipality are due to lack of oversight, corruption and maladministration which has become the order of the day at the institution.

Mr. Ntutu further alleges that workers have deliberately sabotaged services in the municipality, these comments are nothing but a desperate attempt by Mr. Ntutu to lay blame of the collapse of service delivery on workers. He further wants to pit workers against communities which they serve. This is because Mr. Ntutu knows of the frustration that residents have as they are not getting any services, a situation which has been purely caused by his deployees to the municipality.

Already we have received report of threats that have been made against some of our shop stewards, if anything is to happen to them, Mr. Ntutu must take responsibility because of the lies that he has been peddling. As a revolutionary trade union we shall not keep quite and dance to the Ntutu tune while the lives and employment of shopstewards and members are threatened by the cabal that has no interest of community and movement at heart but their own needs.

For the record, workers have nothing to benefit should the municipality collapse, this is their workplace, this is their livehoods which they are jealously guarding against collapse and demise. Our members are community members before they are municipal workers, they too want to benefit from services rendered by the municipality.

For the record, the ANC does not need our help in destabilizing and collapsing the municipality, on their own they are doing an excellent job.

As workers, we will however not fold our arms and allow this institution to collapse under our watch, we will not allow Ntutu and his cabal to deny residents of Amathole the much-needed services rendered by the municipality.

It is for this reason that we repeat our call that the Amathole District Municipality be placed under administration in terms of Section 139 (1) (b) of the Constitution.

If the Eastern Cape Provincial Government has the interests of residents, workers and service delivery at heart, they will immediately intervene and salvage whatever that is left of the Amathole District Municipality before Ntutu and his cabal finish it off.

Failure by the Provincial Government to intervene as constitutionally mandated will leave us with no other option but to approach the High Court to compel government to intervene. The Makana High Court judgement should be a reminder to government that anyone can approach the courts to compel intervention when a municipality is failing in its constitutional duty to residents.

In fact, we will be praying to the courts that the Municipal Council be dissolved, and new elections be held to elect people who are serious about local economic development and the delivery of services.

We reiterate our earlier stance that if municipal workers are not paid their February salaries, they will not be reporting for duty until salaries are paid in full.

No municipal worker will be made a slave under our watch. In the same manner that municipalities apply the principle of “no work, no pay” when workers are on an industrial action, we will be applying the principle of “no pay, no work” should salaries not be paid.

We are unfortunately dealing with individuals who have no interests of workers or residents at heart. The reality that service delivery will come to a grinding halt due to non-payment of salaries does not concern Mr Ntutu, he however has resorted to a popularity contest at the expense of workers and residents.

Mr. Ntutu and the ANC have failed to provide leadership and guidance at the institution. They have failed to reign in on their deployees and ensure that there is proper and sound governance in the municipality.

Clearly, they are out of touch with realities faced by the working class, they do not care about workers and residents. Local government elections are just around the corner, workers and residents are not fools, they are well aware to the injustices, corruption, lack of accountability and the non-delivery of services that is perpetuated by the Ntutu and his cabal.

Issued by SAMWU Secretariat

Dumisane Magagula
Deputy General Secretary
084 806 4005


Papikie Mohale
National Media Officer
073 710 0356