31 October 2017
SAMWU Disappointed by EPWP Salary Increment
The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) notes with utter disgust the statement released by the Department of Public Works wherein the Deputy Director General for the Extended Public Works (EPWP) Mr. Henderson announces a salary increase for EPWP participants to be effected on the first of November 2017.
SAMWU views this so-called salary increase as a slap in the face of EPWP participants who are the poor of the poor among the working class. It is shameful that the department has bravely announced this increment taking their daily salary to R88 per day, which translates to a monthly remuneration of R1760 assuming that the participant has worked five days a week for a month.
The sectoral minimum wage for Local Government is currently R6800 and as such it is shameful and disgusting that people who are doing the same job as those employed permanently and directly by municipalities are set to continue receiving slave wages.
The SAMWU 11th National Congress held in 2015 resolved to among other things; recruit and organize EPWP workers, given the work that they do. We consider EPWP participants to be Municipal workers as the services which they are rendering are municipal functions which will forever be required by municipalities.
It is against this background that the union has classified EPWP and similar programmes as slavery of a special kind. It is immoral that EPWP participants are expected to perform the same functions as municipal workers yet they are shortchanged literally being offered slave wages for their labour.
EPWP and similar programmes have been used in all spheres of government as a supplier of cheap labour in what seems to be a targeted attack at collective bargaining and eroding workers’ power as these programmes are precarious with no job security or benefits.
There is no justification for having these programmes being used to deliver services as the participants are always overlooked when vacancies arises, especially in municipalities.
We view this increment as an attempt to ensure that there is a constant supply of cheap labour while people are continually entangled in the perpetual circle of poverty. We further demand the immediate cessation of the use of EPWP programmes for the delivery of services. We are of the view that EPWP participants should be directly and permanently employed by municipalities.
As we prepare for our salary and wage negotiations, the immediate absorption of EPWP participants by municipalities will be one of the items which we will fight hard for it’s realization in the interest of service delivery and bettering the lives of South Africans.
Issued by SAMWU Secretariat
Deputy General Secretary
National Media Officer
(073 710 0356)