14 August 2018 Read: 112
Following the disruptions caused to the service delivery sector by the striking SAMWU members at the GTM on Monday and Tuesday, the mayor, Maripe Mangena addressed the gathering. He was called out of an important SALGA meeting in Thohoyandou to rush back and arbitrate.
Mangena told the group of SAMWU affiliates that the municipal manager, Thapelo Matlala, had apologised for the inconvenience the workers “suffered” under his stewardship and that their problems will be attended to. This after he had met with Matlala behind closed doors.
“After the deliberations held with your union leaders we found that the main problem was lack of communication between workers and the employer and the matters would only be settled through talks about talks. We had agreed with the union leaders that the circulars which are the source of problems in the institution be withdrawn until it was deliberated upon. The MM is busy typing the communique in his office.”
It was resolved that all the parties will return to the Local Labour Forum (LLF) where all the matters will be addressed. “We cannot promise that it will be a win-win situation as the other parties should not be left out. In politics we say the Aluta continua (struggle goes on) which means some of the problems would be resolved with time as they could not be addressed at once,” Mangena added.
Among the circulars to be withdrawn by the municipality include the issuing of car allowances to workers, non-payment of the encashment of leave days (this despite Section 21 of the Employment Act which states that remuneration for leave days can only be exchanged upon termination of contract), non-allocation of overtime to workers, and the latest - released on Monday and Tuesday - that money be deducted from workers for their time spent in the parking lot instead of at their respective posts.
However, Mopani SAMWU regional secretary, Sello Mononela, told the workers that he will be part of the deliberations to bring an end to the problems affecting the municipality. He said they could not at the moment announce the steps to be taken to remove the municipal manager, but that they will engage their lawyers to pilfer the employment contract of the municipality to check for discrepancies.
“We will go down to the day the decision to hire the municipal manager was taken, checking if he posesses all the requirements for the position, and whether appropriate procedures were followed when he was hired. Since not all are on our side, it will be premature to reveal all the details at this stage as some would use the information for their own personal good,” Mononela stated.