27 May 2021
SAMWU demands immediate payment of municipal workers’ salaries in the Northern Cape.
The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) in the Northern Cape has learnt with great shock and great fury the developments at the Renosterberg Local Municipalities on their failure to pay workers their salaries on time.
The Renosterberg Local Municipality which is in the Pixley ka Seme District Municipality covers areas such as De Aar, Bristown, Handover, Mziwabantu and Nonzwakazi and serves areas such as Lukhanyisweni, Prusville, Thembinkosi and Vanderkloof.
What agitates workers the most is that there was no notification whatsoever from the municipality that salaries would be paid late, workers were left in the wilderness when on the 25th they did not receive bank notifications informing them that their salaries were paid as per their contractual agreement with the employer.
We are further angered and agitated as a union that all workers at the Renosterberg Local Municipality have not received their salaries as per their contract of employment with the employer.
The Renosterberg Local Municipality has not even bothered to give workers an indication of when their salaries would be paid. The failure by the municipality has resulted in great dissatisfaction and low morale amongst workers which would obviously affect the delivery of services to residents of the municipality.
SAMWU does not buy the reasons advanced by the municipality that they are unable to pay workers their salaries as a result of the failure by both Provincial and National Governments to pay grants to the institution.
The fact that the municipality relies on grants such as equitable share for the payment of salaries is indicative of the financial systems controls failures and incompetencies at the institution.
As a union we are convinced that the failure to pay salaries is directly linked to the poor financial management and the failure by the institution to implement credit and debt control policies.
According to the auditor general’s report on municipal finances, most of the country’s municipalities, including the Renosterberg municipalities have failed to ensure that there are proper revenue collection mechanisms in place to ensure sound municipal financial liquidity.
The developments in this municipality is indicative of the greater need for the National Treasury and the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs to review funding model of municipalities, a demand which has always been championed by SAMWU in the interest of service delivery and labour stability.
As SAMWU, we therefore call on the Renosterberg Local Municipality to immediately pay workers their salaries in full and with interests. The Renosterberg Local Municipalities should compensate workers for the bank charges they have incurred as a result of the late or non- payment of salaries.
Just as the employer always applies the “no-work, no-pay” principle when workers are on a strike or protest, we will be applying the “no-pay, no-work policy”.
We therefore advise our members to not report for work until such a time that their salaries are paid in full. As SAMWU we will not allow our members to be slaves of a democratic government.
The decision to apply the “no-pay, no-work” policy is a difficult one since before we are municipal workers, we are community members and as such we too want to receive services. We however cannot allow a situation wherein municipal workers are turned into slaves under our watch.
We further call on the Northern Cape Provincial Government to intervene in all municipalities that are failing to honour their contractual obligations to workers.
The failure by the Provincial Government would be a clear message to workers and residents that they just do not care about service delivery or the welfare of workers, a message which will be loudly and clearly received by workers.
Issued by SAMWU Northern Cape
(071 889 8666)
Deputy Provincial Secretary
(076 392 2023)
(071 269 1470)