Workers at Renosterberg Local Municipality are still on a go-slow and have decided to work only four hours a day due to outstanding salary payments.
WORKERS at Renosterberg Local Municipality are still on a go-slow and have decided to work only four hours a day due to outstanding salary payments.
The workers started their go-slow in mid-January after the municipality failed to pay their salaries.
Apparently, the municipality does not have money to pay salaries after diverting all its equitable shares from the provincial government to its outstanding Eskom account in November 2021.
There is also no money left to render basic services to local communities.
Eskom has taken action to attach the municipality’s outstanding account of R99 million and to “freeze” it.
The decision is being opposed by the Northern Cape Department of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlement and Traditional Affairs (Coghsta) and the matter was referred to court.
The Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (Imatu) supports Coghsta in its bid to “unfreeze” the municipality’s account.
Representatives of the Imatu local office travelled to Kimberley to hear the outcome of the case, which was set to sit in the Northern Cape High Court on Friday, but it was postponed to April 25.
According to the representatives, the affected workers are from the towns of Philipstown, Petrusville and Vanderkloof.
Imatu representative Ruiter Jaars said they had been delegated by the workers and the community to hear the outcome of the court proceedings and they had travelled to Kimberley on Friday morning.
Jaars said that the municipal workers felt that they could not go to work for eight hours a day on an empty stomach anymore.
“The workers felt it better to work only for four hours in order to return home and eat the little food that they can afford with their families,” he said.
He said it was heartbreaking to be expected to go to work on a daily basis without getting paid and to not have any food to put on the table.
“It is a difficult situation that we are in.”
He also explained that the situation has turned “chaotic” as they cannot render any services due to lack of resources.
“We had an incident whereby Eskom local offices were heavily flooded with sewage due to a blocked drain on Thursday. We had to request Eskom for a payment in order to put diesel in one of the trucks in order to help them.
“Luckily Eskom paid the money for Diesel and we managed to assist them. With that petrol, we also managed to go and unblock another drain of a 60-year-old woman, which has been blocked and had flooded her house and yard for weeks”
“The community plea in this regard is only for Eskom to be considerate of our families and the children and to unfreeze our account. We are positive that an amicable solution can be reached somehow.”