20 February 2023
SAMWU welcomes legal opinion confirming Tshwane Mayor’s immediate resignation
The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) in the Tshwane Region notes and welcomes a legal opinion that has been furnished to the Council on the resignation of Cllr Randal Williams as the Executive Mayor of the City of Tshwane. Within a space of hours after tendering his resignation effective on the 13th February, Cllr Williams denied residents and workers a Valentine’s gift by somersaulting, bowing to political pressure and tendered a second resignation letter which gave notice until end of February. When news of the first resignation surfaced, SAMWU was one of the first organisations to welcome the long overdue resignation of a Mayor that preceded over the collapse of the City’s finances and an administration that denied municipal workers their salary increases in 2021.
As SAMWU, we have been consistent in arguing that denying workers their salary increases as agreed in the South African Local Government Bargaining Council (SALGBC) prejudices workers for the duration of their employment with the City as the denied 3.5% salary increase would have been factored in all future increases for municipal workers as agreed in the SALGBC. We further raised our frustration that this administration has neglected service delivery particularly in areas whose residents are predominately black. Of great concern to us is the fact that under the leadership of Cllr Williams, the City incurred overR1 billion in fruitless and wasteful expenditure, while over R10 billion was irregularly spent by his administration.
We are today vindicated as a union for our call that Council should only consider the initial resignation by Cllr Williams and not the one he composed under duress from his political puppeteers. The legal opinion which was sought by the City essentially brings to an end the reign of terror by Cllr Williams that workers and residents had been subjected to since 2020.
We therefore call on the Speaker of Council to convene an urgent Council meeting to elect a new Mayor who will turn the tide and focus on fixing the mess that has been left behind by Cllr Williams and his administration. W, Further call on the City Manager to write to all now illegitimate MMCs to return all tools of trade they have, including the City’s vehicles which are now ferrying ordinary Councillors who have no Executive authority. The day Cllr Williams decided to do right by residents and workers by resigning, all these illegitimate MMCs ceased to hold those positions and as such, all decisions that they have made post the resignation should be declared null and void. Importantly, the City should not be paying exorbitant salaries to people who legally hold no Executive authority.
As a workers’ organisation, we are always concerned and worried about the wellbeing of workers who are employed in political offices as their contracts of employment are linked to those of their principals. We have also noted with great concern the politicisation of these appointments. It is for this reason that we call on all political parties to not involve themselves in the future of these employees but rather allow the City Manager, as the person who have authority over these issues to deal with them in a fair and transparent manner that is consistent with the City’s policies and applicable legislation.
We reiterate our call that workers and residents of the City have had enough and deserve better, as such all political parties in Council should ensure that they put aside their political differences and put first the City by electing a Mayor who working with the new Executive will bring the much needed financial stability and resuscitate service delivery that will benefit all residents indiscriminately. The City has been through rough times since Cllr Williams ascended to the highest office in the City, political parties need to focus their energies on revitalizing the City to its former glory.
We further reiterate that our preoccupation is not the political football that Councillors are playing at the expense of workers and service delivery. We therefore want a Mayor that will prioritise issues which have plagued workers and residents which includes;
– The payment of outstanding 3.5% salary increase.
– Payment of outstanding once off in respect of benchmarking
– Consistent diesel supply for the Tshwane Bus Service.
– Provision of tools of trade for workers to effectively and safely execute their duties.
– Protection of workers who are regularly attacked when on callouts.
– Implementation of Metro Police Constable / Sargent grading.
– Stabilisation of the City’s finances.
The City Manager should further ensure that workers and residents are insulated from the political fallout that may come as a result of politicking in the City. As SAMWU, we are interested in a City that is worker and people-centred. We want an administration that will take care of its workers and enable them to service residents without fail.
Issued by SAMWU Tshwane Region
073 375 9645
Deputy Regional Secretary
084 465 5598