6 October 2023
SAMWU concerned by COGTA delay tactics in the challenge against MSA amendments
The South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) today appeared at the Labour Court in Johannesburg for the hearing of the application by the Union to have the Municipal Systems Act Amendments declared invalid, unconstitutional and set aside. We are concerned that the respondents, the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) has failed to adhere to the court directives to enable the matter to be heard expeditiously.
When the Union approached the Courts, the respondents COGTA and the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) were instructed to file their answering affidavits by the 8th September 2023 and the heads of arguments by the 29th September 2023. When the proceedings began this morning, it was revealed in Court that the Minister had failed to comply with the directives and the timeframes. The Minister only filed an answering affidavit on the 4th of October, while heads of arguments are outstanding.
As a result of the non-compliance by COGTA and the Minister, the Judge had to postpone the matter to Thursday 12 October 2023. The Judge further directed the Minister to file her heads of arguments by Monday 9 October 2023.
As a Union, we are concerned by the non-compliance by the Minister which are not only delaying the hearing of the matter but also allowing for the continued violation of municipal workers’ rights. When the matter is argued in Court, the Union will be seeking a cost order against the Minister for the delays and wastage of the court’s time and public resources.
Since the Union’s challenge is of a constitutional nature, the matter will first be heard by the Labour Court, the ruling will be ratified by the Constitutional Court. As SAMWU, we remain confident on our prospects in the challenge against these amendments which we believe limits the rights of workers, while also violating Section 19 (3) (b) of the Bill of Rights. The Union will continue updating its members on the developments as the case progresses.
Issued by SAMWU Secretariat
(076 580 4029),
Deputy General Secretary
(082 526 5226)
National Media Officer
(076 795 8670).