Tshwane’s South African Municipal Workers’ Union went on strike and marched to deliver a memorandum to the City of Tshwane about workers’ challenges.
Workers are upset over the outstanding non-payment of 3.5%, this year’s 5.4% salary increase, unilateral implementation of the performance management system, and improper implementation of the Metro Police grading system.
In all spheres of municipal work, the city does not provide trade tools. This is the second march demanding our salary increase two years ago” said SAMWU Tshwane Acting Regional Secretary, Precious Theledi.
According to her, over ten years have passed since they dealt with their grievances fairly, but the Municipality won’t accept their appeal. There has been no response to their concerns for over a decade.
A group of municipal workers also participated in the march violently, singing and chanting their rights. Tshwane’s mayor Cilliers Brink refused to recieve the memorandum due to concerns for his safety as protesters did not arrive in peace and some were drunk.
“We understand the municipality’s employees are a crucial part of delivering services. There is no delivery of services without people who work in the city. We expected the march, but what was unexpected was the set of unprotected strikes that heightened the strike risk.
“We also spotted potential division within the crowd that causes violence. It was very difficult to receive the memorandum from a group who seemed internally divided,” said the Tshwane Mayor.
The Mayor claimed that the Municipality is at financial risk, and cannot pay the increases as agreed to. Yet, the rule of no work no pay persists and will be applied if workers do not return to work.
However, SAMWU President Nelson Mokgotho said that workers are not afraid of hunger. They endured months not paid, but still came to work every day. A no-work, no-pay policy does not frighten them.