Tsh­wane dis­tances it­self from pro­test­ers

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - THABISO MAIMELA

THE City of Tsh­wane does not have any re­la­tion­ship or employment con­tract with South African Mu­nic­i­pal Work­ers Union (Samwu) work­ers who protested out­side Tsh­wane House yes­ter­day.

City of Tsh­wane spokesper­son Lin­dela Mashigo said the work­ers, for­merly part of the Ex­panded Pub­lic Works Pro­gramme (EPWP), em­barked on the protest and de­manded to see man­age­ment with­out hav­ing asked per­mis­sion.

“We were not in­formed of the protest and the is­sues they were com­ing to raise. Had they done so, we would have been present to hear their griev­ances. Cur­rently, there is no re­la­tion­ship be­tween the city and the work­ers. The city is, how­ever, open to dis­cus­sions with the work­ers’ rep­re­sen­ta­tives,” he said.

Work­ers who formed part of the Vat Alles op­er­a­tion marched through the city and later protested out­side Tsh­wane House, de­mand­ing per­ma­nent jobs and claim­ing they had not been paid.

Samwu rep­re­sen­ta­tive An­nah Ntuli said this was not the first time work­ers had not been paid, de­spite re­port­ing for duty.

“Our work­ers have been do­ing their work de­spite non-pay­ment and we have de­cided that enough is enough. We are here be­cause city rep­re­sen­ta­tives who had agreed to meet with us did not even bother to show up.”

Ntuli said the union opted to take the le­gal route to force the city’s hand and ad­dress is­sues of work­ers who had been un­fairly dis­missed.

John Phaahla said he was strug­gling to make ends meet, es­pe­cially re­gard­ing rent and ac­counts. “I am bat­tling to pay my rent ev­ery month or even keep up with ac­count pay­ments. I need a per­ma­nent job so that I can sup­port my chil­dren, as I am the only bread­win­ner.”

Mashigo, how­ever, stressed that per­ma­nent jobs have to be avail­able be­fore they can hire any­one. He said that for this to take place, a work study needed to be con­ducted to an­a­lyse what skills were re­quired.

He added that re­gard­ing the is­sue of non-pay­ment, work­ers must present them­selves at work.

“We can’t just pay peo­ple. There is a process where a worker clocks in, and those sheets are taken by the re­gional ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, who then for­wards them to fi­nance rep­re­sen­ta­tives to pay.”

PIC­TURE: BON­GANI SHILUBANE

‘NO RE­LA­TION­SHIP BE­TWEEN THE CITY AND THE WORK­ERS’: SAMWU mem­bers sing and chant out­side the newly built Tsh­wane House, de­mand­ing per­ma­nent jobs.

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