“It is unfortunate that it is our community who will suffer through lack of service delivery while the municipality continues to play with money”
THE SOUTH African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) is adamant that its strike action will continue indefinitely if the Sol Plaatje Municipality does not meet its demands.
On Monday the strike action entered its fifth day, where all municipal services have come to a standstill.
The striking workers have been assembling at the Civic Centre on a daily basis since the beginning of their strike action on Tuesday last week.
The workers have demanded the immediate implementation of a Covid-19 danger allowance, a 6.5 salary increase, overtime payment, the permanent appointment of contract workers and a nights out allowance.
Samwu has insisted that workers will only return to work once their demands are met; and it will not be threatened by any means.
On Thursday last week four Samwu members – Nomathamsanqa Banda, Daily Semau, Dutch Mongale and Sammy Phillis – were served with an urgent interdict .
A Samwu delegation engaged with the municipality on Thursday and the acting municipal manager, Boy Dhluwayo, apparently requested a further seven days to respond to their demands.
The union members responded by saying that the strike action will continue for those seven days.
An interim court order was submitted by the Sol Plaatje Municipality, which the members countered. They are set to sit on Friday for settlement.
Samwu local secretary Nomathamsanqa Banda on Monday expressed her “disgust” at a circulating letter from the Sol Plaatje executive mayor, Patrick Mabilo, wherein he appealed for the strike to end.
In the letter, Mabilo raised concerns about the ongoing strike and how it has affected service delivery.
“I appeal to all stakeholders to bear with us as we work hard to find an amicable solution with the workers,” wrote the mayor.
Banda lashed out at the mayor, saying that he has “never shown his face” since the beginning of the strike action.
“It is unfortunate that it is our community who will suffer through lack of service delivery while the municipality continues to play with money,” said Banda.
“We learnt that there was a truck that was collecting refuse in the suburbs last week. The municipal manager continued to outsource and served interdicts to union members.
“We want that money. They are not doing us a favour. It is the law for us to receive increases.
“The mayor has never made an effort of communicating with us and now he is circulating this letter. We are not moved or threatened by it.
“We are not going to entertain lip service this time. We want it in black and white.”
Banda said that they will be joined this week by the Samwu provincial top five, who will avail themselves for whenever the opportunity arises for engagements.