Tensions simmer between Samwu and Vhembe District Municipality
TENSIONS are running high between the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) and the Vhembe District Municipality over allegations of rampant maladministration, corruption and nepotism.
Samwu Limpopo provincial secretary Patrick Aphane said they have tried to address the issue but with no luck.
He said they have tried on numerous occasions to notify executive mayor Florence Radzilani and her municipal manager Mughivela Rambado of the situation, but their efforts failed to bear any fruits.
“Since the ascendance of the current council into power after the 2016 August local government elections, the workplace relationship between organised labour and employer has deteriorated to such an extent that the executive mayor and the municipal manager prefers to communicate to unions through lawyers, whose costs are too gross to contemplate,” Aphane said.
He added that the union held hopes that after having inherited the rot from the previous council, the new council would rescue the municipality but instead, the mayor has worsened things.
“It is a pity that the entire council has to take collective responsibility while the absolute power is vested upon an individual whose uncounselled wisdom, guided by greed and hell-bent self-aggrandisement punctuated by oversized ego, is taking the district into an unparalleled abyss of retrogression,” he said.
Vhembe district municipality spokesperson Matodzi Ralushai rejected some of the allegations levelled by Samwu, arguing that the union does not understand that the issues raised were complex in nature and they cannot be solved overnight.
Ralushai said the reason the municipality has seen fewer community concerns, shows that mayor Radzilani works tirelessly to render service to the people.
“The mayor is a political deployee of the municipality, but she has the responsibility to lead the council correctly in terms of the governance of the municipality that play the over site role working with the entire council.
“Thus far, I strongly believe that she is a capable leader who has tried her best to make sure that there is unity among councillors and that the municipality works smoothly” Radzilani said.
He said most disputes raised by the union were labour related and as such, that does not mean that the municipality, in general, is crumbling.
Among other demands, Samwu calls for the immediate and unconditional reemployment of workers who were ‘unfairly’ dismissed and further demand the immediate implementation of the settlement agreement including the adherence to supply chain procedures at the municipality.