15 October 2020
SAMWU to oppose attempts by Tswaing local municipality to illegally sneak people onto its payroll.
The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) in the North West Province has learnt with great discomfort and anger that the Tswaing Local Municipality which covers areas such as Delereyville, Ottosdal and Sannieshof has embarked on a process to illegally employ 127 people.
First and foremost, as a trade union, we always get excited when we receive news of municipalities hiring people directly and permanently. We believe that municipalities have a role to play in reducing the country’s high levels of unemployment and be chief drivers of local economic development.
As SAMWU in the province, we are vehemently opposed to the creation and filling of vacancies in the Tswaing Local Municipality. To begin with, these vacancies are not funded, there is no budget that has been passed or a council resolution to this effect, there has also been no consultations in the Local Labour Forum on the proposed ballooning of the institution’s workforce as the municipality simply cannot afford to employ any other person until such a time that it gets its house in order.
We are further opposed to the filling of these vacancies given the financial challenges that the municipality has been facing for many years. The municipality has been failing to pay third parties such as medical aid, pension and funeral policies since 2018.
This is money that is deducted from salaries of employees monthly but is never paid over as the municipality says they are facing cashflow challenges, this has resulted in workers’ medical aids and funeral policies lapsing due to non-payment while workers are also losing out on the interests that would have accumulated on their pensions.
Workers in the municipality have also not been paid their overtime for work that has been done in line with their conditions of services. The same liquidity challenges are always used by the municipality when workers are supposed to be paid what is due to them for having have worked above their normal working hours.
To further show that the municipality is in no position to fill these vacancies, the debt that is owed to Eskom is not serviced regularly, leading to constant threats by the power utility to disconnect residents from the grid. The municipality has also failed to renovate its property that has been burnt down by community members who were demanding the delivery of services.
As SAMWU we are convinced that the attempt by the municipality to sneak these people on the payroll is nothing but a plot to dispense patronage and hire friends, family and supporters of certain individuals so to ensure that they are already on the payroll before next year’s general elections.
When workers in the municipality raised concerns of the illegality of the actions of the municipality, they were met by an arrogant employer that unprocedurally suspended them in a bid to silence them.
If the municipality continues this illegal act of seeking to sneak people on the payroll, it will be nothing but an illegal act by the municipality and as such, heads must roll. The union will use all legal avenues at its disposal to ensure the reversal of these illegal appointments and most importantly to personally hold to account all involved in these shenanigans, including recouping monies that would have been essentially stolen in the process.
Issued by SAMWU North West Province
Deputy Provincial Secretary
(078 473 7732)
(081 875 4462)