SAMWU welcomes the reinstatement of 223 Newcastle employees

14 September 2022

SAMWU welcomes the reinstatement of 223 Newcastle employees

The South African Municipal Worker’s Union (SAMWU) in the KZN province has noted with jubilation and excitement the settlement agreement which has now been made an order of the Labour Court in Durban, enforcing the reinstatement of the 223 employees that were unfairly dismissed in November 2019 by Newcastle Local Municipality.

As SAMWU, we are vindicated of our initial sentiments that the termination of these employees’ contracts of employment was not only unfair but also immoral. We have as a union from the onset shown our support and solidarity to these workers. Many of them have lost a lot, including marriages, houses and vehicle repossessions as they could not keep up with the repayments. Although the settlement agreement now brings closer to the issue, irreparable damage has been done against these employees as they will not be able to retrieve that which they have lost.

As per the settlement agreement, all 223 employees will be returning to work on 1 October 2022. These workers will also receive twelve months salary, while the municipality will also pay 36 months’ worth of pension contributions on behalf of the workers. Although much damage has already been done to the employees, financially, socially and psychologically and family wise, as a result of the unlawful dismissals, we trust that this settlement agreement will assist the workers in rebuilding their lives.

It has been the considered view of the union that whenever there are disagreements between municipal management and workers, municipalities in KZN have always resorted to dismissing workers instead of dealing with issues amicably and in the interest of service delivery. The union will now be redirecting all its energy and resources towards fighting for the reinstatement of workers in other municipalities. The union has already scored another victory wherein 8 workers from the Ugu Local Municipality were reinstated by the SALGBC. We are tirelessly working hard to ensure the reinstatement of the remaining workers at Ugu, King Cetshwayo and Ndwedwe and municipalities.

We thank these employees to have trusted SAMWU throughout the process that has led to their reinstatement. As a union, we are committed to ensuring that municipal workers in the province are treated with the dignity they deserve and that all municipalities comply with the disciplinary code and do not resort to outright dismissals when matters cannot be resolved amicably.

Our commitment to defending workers is now more energised. We, therefore, encourage all municipal workers in the province to join SAMWU so they too can be part of the journey that we have undertaken. We further trust that this court order will deter other municipalities that always have an appetite to dismiss workers without following due processes and those who seek to silence the voice of workers and the union by always issuing threats of dismissals.

Issued by SAMWU KZN

Nokubonga Dinga
Provincial Secretary
065 871 8434


Xolani Shinga
Deputy Provincial Secretary
081 852 1821