“The efforts to resolve this matter is ongoing in order to bring a lasting resolution. We will, where possible, try to patch the work lost. We apologise to the residents for the inconvenience”
THE SOL Plaatje Municipality has indicated that refuse removal will commence as normal from today.
This follows after workers in the cleansing section downed tools yesterday and last Friday following a labour dispute.
The employees were unhappy about the municipality apparently failing to pay them their overtime.
Refuse in various neighbourhoods in the city had been piling up over the weekend.
Various areas, including the central business district (CBD), West End, Barkly Road, Soul Cty, FLoors, Colville and Mint Village, were affected.
Municipal spokesperson Sello Matsie said that the refuse will be collected as normal from today.
“The efforts to resolve this matter is ongoing in order to bring a lasting resolution. We will, where possible, try to patch the work lost. We apologise to the residents for the inconvenience,” said Matsie.
The local chairperson of the SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu), Dailey Semau, said that they will hold a meeting with municipal manager (MM) and the executive mayor on Thursday, January 30 to find a final solution.
“We have agreed that all workers in the electrical, refuse, sanitation, waterworks and mechanical workshop divisions must return to work. A delegation from the the union will meet with the mayor to iron out the grievances,” said Semau.
“The core of the problem is that workers are demanding to be paid their 60-hours overtime and the municipality is only willing to pay them for 30 hours of overtime. This is unfair as emergency workers are paid for 60-hours overtime. Why can the municipality not pay this across the board? This unfairness is creating division amongst workers.
“Workers will in the meantime be at their posts as we want to give management the benefit of the doubt and we also want to resolve the matter amicably.”
Semau indicated that they will take instruction from their members if they cannot reach a resolution.
“We are guided by our members and they will indicate what steps to take if there is no solution to this matter. We need to consult every decision taken with them.”
He added that the union also does not want to drag the matter out.
“This matter has been affecting all of us. We are also community members. If the refuse does not get collected, we are also affected. The workers have indicated that they will put in extra work to cover all outstanding work this week. Our mandate is service delivery.”