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SAMWU Demands the Immediate Removal of Mosilonyana Administrator

28 November 2018

The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) is concerned by the deteriorating state of the Masilonyana Local Municipality in the Free State Province. The Masilonyana Local Municipality is located in the Lejweleputswa District and covers areas such as Brandfort, Verkeerdevlei and Winburg

Earlier in the year, the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Zweli Mkhize revealed that 31% of the country’s municipalities are on the brink of dysfunctionality while another 33% are dysfunctional.

It is very saddening that the Masilonyaba Local Municipality falls under the category of those municipalities characterized as dysfunctional by COGTA. This has been further exuberated by the lack of political will by municipal management to ensure that the situation is arrested and reversed in the interest of service delivery.

The municipality was placed under administration in terms of Section 139 1B by the Free State Province in May 2017. The Provincial Government subsequently appointed an administrator, Steven Kau who was supposed to steer the municipality out of its troubles and bring it back to stability and financial soundness.

The contrary has however been the case in this municipality. Instead of stabilizing the municipality, the administrator has made the situation worse since his arrival. Employer employee relations have collapsed under his watch resulting in all time low staff morale.

Since his arrival, the administrator has failed to submit Financial recovery Plan as part of his terms of reference. The 2017/18 financial statements have also not been submitted to National Treasury and as a result Treasury has withheld Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) thus hampering infrastructure development in the area.

The administrator has also failed to attend council meetings leading him to be aloof with issues directly affecting all stakeholders of the municipality i.e workers and residents alike.

We have strong suspicions that the administrator has also looted the municipality, leading to it being in a worse off situation compared to prior to his arrival. Since his placement in the municipality worker’s third parties such as SARS, medical aid, pension fund, union subscriptions and funeral policies have not been paid over by the municipality. This, despite the fact that this money is deducted from the workers and reflects so on their payslips.

The practice of deducting money from workers and not paying over to third parties is criminal and illegal. It negatively affects workers as they lose interests that would have been accrued on their pensions, but the saddening part is that workers are now not able to visit doctors because their medical aids have not been paid in months.

The worse is when workers are unable to bury their loved ones because their funeral policies had lapsed as a result on non-payment by the municipality. We have therefore appointed a legal team to open criminal charges against the municipality for the fraudulent activity of deducting money from workers and not paying it over to third parties.

Workers in the municipality are also resolute on their demand that the administrator should be removed from the municipality with immediate effect as he has failed on his contractual obligations with the municipality resulting in the situation worsening. We will also be laying criminal charges against the administrator who stands accused of looting municipal resources.

We remain convinced that the Steven Kau is not acting in the best interest of the municipality, it's workers and the community which he is supposed to be serving, improving the state of the municipality in the interest of service delivery to all residents.

Issued by SAMWU Free State
Thabang Tseuoa
Provincial Secretary
082 620 9160

Or

Dumisani Magagula
Deputy Provincial Secretary
084 806 4005