SAMWU cautiously welcomes Eastern Cape government intervention at Amathole District Municipality.

21 January 2021

SAMWU cautiously welcomes Eastern Cape government intervention at Amathole District Municipality.

The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) notes and cautiously welcomes the decision by the Eastern Cape Provincial Government to intervene at the troubled Amathole District Municipality (ADM).

The ADM has in the last two weeks been the talk of town after the Municipal Manager wrote a circular informing worker, Councillors and traditional leaders that they would not be getting salaries from February to June 2021.

The Eastern Cape Provincial Government has since intervened in the municipality through Section 139 (5) (a) of the Constitution which empowers the Provincial Government to impose a financial recovery plan that is aimed at salvaging what is left of the Amathole District Municipality.

According to the Provincial Government, a team which consists of Treasury and COGTA MECs would be tasked with overseeing this recovery plan. We are however of the view that this intervention will not necessarily solve the root causes of the state in which the ADM finds itself in.

We had hope that when intervening in the municipality, the Provincial Government would take into consideration the fact that the current municipal management is the root cause of the near collapse of the ADM and as such they cannot be allowed to continue controlling the purse of the municipality.

As SAMWU, when the Municipal Manager, Thandekile Mnyimba informed workers that they would not be paid their salaries for 5 months, we called for his immediate removal because he has failed in his duty as the accounting officer of the institution.

We therefore reiterate our call that the Municipal Manager must be relieved of his duties immediately. We are not convinced that the intervention by the Provincial Government would yield desired results so long as Mnyimba is still on the municipality’s payroll.

The fact that government has not put in place time frames for the intervention is worrisome to workers. There is great anxiety amongst municipal workers in that they are not sure as to when another circular will be issued informing them of the nonpayment of their salaries.

As SAMWU, we had hoped that the intervention by the Provincial Government would be in the form of Section 139 (1) (b) or (c) wherein the municipal management would be stripped of their executive powers and an administrator brought in to steer the institution out of the situations which is caused by the municipal management.

We will however allow the intervention by the Provincial Government to proceed and where necessary we shall provide support in revitalizing and salvaging whatever that is left of the institution. As municipal workers, we want to see Amathole District Municipalities that is able to deliver services and pay workers on time and in full.

If the intervention by government fails to turn around the financial situation of the municipality, we will be approaching the High Court to dissolve the Municipal Council and set dates for new elections which will elect people who are interested in seeing residents receiving the much-needed services.

Issued by SAMWU Secretariat

Dumisane Magagula
Deputy General Secretary
084 806 4005


Papikie Mohale
National Media Officer
073 710 0356