JOHANNESBURG – The South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) has said that it would be marching to the Midvaal Municipal offices, south of Johannesburg, on Thursday in protest against working conditions and to deliver a memorandum of demands.
Samwu’s spokesperson, Papikie Mohale, said the protest march follows numerous grievances which have been raised with the municipal management and ignored.
Samwu has been at loggerheads with the Democratic Alliance-run municipality for the longest time, especially in the run-up to last year’s local government elections, over a request that the entire municipality be re-graded to a higher category of municipality.
Angry Midvaal Municipality employees affiliated to Samwu last year staged a violent protest in the town and disrupted service delivery despite the Bargaining Council’s decision to ban their strike.
Midvaal Municipality, which services towns like Meyerton, Daleside, Randvaal, Henley-on-Klip, Walkerville, and De Deur, is home to more than 111 000 people and has more than 29 000 households.
Mohale said Samwu’s memorandum of demands would include allegations of maladministration in the municipality, irregular awarding of tenders, irregular appointment of attorneys for the council, racism, sexual harassment, flawed recruitment processes, outsourcing, and the use of labour brokers in the municipality.
He said workers are expected to gather from 09:00 and deliver the memorandum of demands at 12:00 noon.
Samwu also said its members intend to picket everyday from 07:30 in the morning to 16:00 in the afternoon within a demarcated area in the public parking space at the municipal offices for an indefinite period.
In a notice to residents and business owners, Midvaal municipal manager Albert de Klerk confirmed that Samwu had notified the municipality that it would embark on strike action from Thursday.
“Although we have put measures in place to ensure continued service delivery as far as possible, please note that certain services may be affected. We ask the community to bear with us in these trying times,” de Klerk wrote.