Battle looming between SAMWU and City of Tshwane after city recalls 7000 workers’ salaries

25 August 2020

Battle looming between SAMWU and City of Tshwane after city recalls 7000 workers’ salaries

The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) is angered at the decision by the Acting City Manager to recall salaries of almost 7000 employees who are alleged to have not been verified as City of Tshwane employees. This was after the City and unions agreed to embark on a process to deal with ghost employees on the City’s payroll.

SAMWU and the City could not agree on a process to conduct the verification process. Our view had been that to ensure a seamles process workers be given enough time to verify their status. The employer had initially agreed to pay all workers on 26 August 2020 and finalize the varication process before the September 2020 pay run.

The City has however renegeged on this consensus between parties and informed unions on Friday 21st August that over 7000 individuals who are on the City’s payroll will not be receiving their August 202 salaries as they have not been verified yet.

We had brought to the attention that the employer and various head of departments did not consider the following:

• It was impractical to verify more than 25 000 employees within five days considering COVID 19 regulations;
• It is against the law to stop employees’ salaries without proper course and lawful reasons;
• Workers were given limited time to verify and those without e-mails were disadvantaged since they could not get message on time;
• Some of the employees working from home were not properly informed and were unable to verify on time ;
• It is well known that some employees are in quarantine and isolation and employer did not consider such;
• Some employees were having bereavements, hospitalized and on maternity and could therefore did not attend verification.
• Some of the employees have verified but their salaries were recalled

SAMWU has advised the employer that the process to verify outstanding employees be finalized before next salary run of September 2020 to ensure that all employees are given enough time to verify themselves.

It is unfortunate that administrators seems to be out of touch with practical operations of the municipality especially on Human Resource issues. This is the second time in a space of a month where workers have to stand up and defend their rights.

It is clear that administrators are now tired, out of touch with reality and have choosen to be enemy to the workers.

As a union, we are against any form of fraud and corruption and as such we too want to see the rooting out of ghost employees. We however do not agree with this recall, given the limited time afforded to employees to verify their status.

If the intentions of the City are to ensure that no money goes to people who are not supposed to be on their payroll, they have various recourses at their disposal including the involvement of law enforcement angencies and the Assets Forfeiture Unit.

Legitimate workers cannot have their salaries withdrawn as a result of the City’s failure to put in place checks and balances to prevent illegitimate individuals on their payroll. Salaries recall for these legitimate employees is tantamount to sending them and their families to die of hunger.

We therefore demand immediate payment of all salaries until such time that the City has verified the status of all employees. The City cannot disadvantage legitimate workers by withdrawing their salaries, especially given the fact that our members are surviving from hand to mouth.

Issued by SAMWU Tshwane Region

Mpho Tladinyane
Regional Secretary
083 941 5888


Valentine Matlala
Deputy Regional Secretary
084 465 5598