Ten­sions sim­mer be­tween Samwu and Vhembe District Mu­nic­i­pal­ity

African Times - - Politics - AKANI MANGENA

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.

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