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