Municipality workers hand over a memorandum to the mayor

Members of the South African Municipality Workers Union (SAMWU) marched and hand over a memorandum to the executive mayor of eMalahleni Cllr Linah Malatjie.

The members had marched a week ago to hand over the memorandum only to find that the mayor was not present to receive it. The memorandum was handed over on Wednesday, October 17. They say they have been talking to the municipality about certain issues but their demands have been ignored. The union said the issues raised must be resolved soon and are not exhaustive.


Members of the South African Municipality Workers Union (SAMWU) during their march to hand over a memorandum to the executive mayor of eMalahleni Cllr Linah Malatjie. The march was held on Wednesday, October 17.

They demanded services and RDP houses with affordable prices for workers who do not qualify for either RDP houses or bonded houses. They say they will forcefully occupy the spaces they deem suitable. They also demanded that workers in Ogies and Ga-Nala must be considered in their respective areas.

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They demanded that the Phoenix system must be terminated because it is forever not functioning and it’s like looting from the poor workers and the entire community. They have experienced some of their members being exposed to danger because they were not able to explain the shortcomings of the system.

They demanded that the municipality must do away with contractors as it does not benefit the community but only a few individual officials and deprives the municipal workers to be skilled and encourages corruption at the municipality as well as not addressing the unemployment challenges.


Executive mayor of eMalahleni Cllr Linah Malatjie signing after receiving a memorandum from members of the South African Municipality Workers Union (SAMWU). The mayor is with Cllr Johannes Matshipa, Ms Thembisile Sibanyoni, deputy chairperson of SAMWU and Mr Ephraim Phetla, secretary of SAMWU.

The separation of salaries must be stopped and that salaries need to be combined and be restored by the end of October and that all temporary workers must be confirmed by the end of October as well.

The workers demanded that politicians must not interfere in administration issues and that all council policies must be adhered to. They also say that organisation rights must be respected by politicians, especially the executive mayor.

“The executive mayor received a faceless petition talking about the issues of the municipality and that petition was later found in the hands of the Democratic Alliance (DA) which strengthened our suspicion that the mayor is having a very close relationship with the DA to the detriment of SAMWU, the municipality and the ANC. We demand that workers’ safety be prioritised as a matter of urgency; there is no access control to the municipality building which exposes our members to danger. Dilapidated buildings must comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act. These matters must be addressed and be responded to within seven working days,” says Ms Thembisile Sibanyoni, deputy chairperson of SAMWU.


Members of the South African Municipality Workers Union (SAMWU) during their march to hand over a memorandum to the executive mayor of eMalahleni Cllr Linah Malatjie. The march was held on Wednesday, October 17.

In her response the executive mayor said they are prepared to work with the union to resolve the raised issues. She also said the issue of implementation will receive their attention and hope for the best result in finding a way forward.

  AUTHOR
Solly Maseko
JOURNALIST/PHOTOGRAPHER

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