Times of Eswatini
Please save our jobs – Galp staff
MBABANE – “Please help us save our jobs.”
This was a plea made by about 60 employees of Big Tree Filling Station as they feared losing their jobs due to the ongoing contractual disputes between the filling station and Galp Eswatini, which have remained unresolved.
The matter is still in court.
As such, some of these employees yesterday took upon themselves to seek assistance from different ministries, including the Prime Minister’s Office. The employees delivered petitions in various government offices, seeking assistance to save their jobs as they depended on them to put food on the table.
About 12 of the employees delivered the letters and explained that the rest were left behind at the convenient shop of the filling station which was still operational. They said others had already thrown in the towel.
Galp Eswatini has not been delivering fuel to the filling station due to a contractual dispute.
The employees said the reason they delivered the letters to the various offices was because their bosses had informed them that some of them would not get paid this month end. They said their superiors had been paying them for over four months now while they were not working as the filling station had not been operational since the impasse with Galp started.
Principal Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Bertram Stewart, confirmed that the employees came to the office with the intention to deliver their letter. He, however, said when engaging them, he found that they were still working but were just panicking.
Other ministries approached by the employees were that of Natural Resources and Energy and that of Justice and Constitutional Affairs. However, receipt of the letters in both ministries could not be confirmed. PS in the Ministry of Justice and ConstitutionalAffairs Lindiwe Mbingo said she had not yet received the letter. She said it would then be impossible to comment on something she had not seen.
Communications Officer in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy Sikelela Khoza said he was not aware of any people who came to the ministry or any letter delivered by the aforementioned people.
Khoza said the management was out of the office for the better part of the day for an outdoor assignment.
The Director of Big Tree, Nurane Calu, confirmed that some of the employees might lose their jobs because of the situation. He said the only ones who could remain were those working in the convenient shop that was attached to the filling station. He said the fuel attendants and those who were working at the filling station might no longer be part of the company.
Calu said the situation was beyond his control because he had been paying the employees for over four months from his own pocket.
The director mentioned that he was equally frustrated by the situation but then there was nothing he could do.
The Supreme Court upheld with costs the appeal filed by Galp Eswatini against the decision to restore the supply of fuel and fuel products to the filling station and further set aside the High Court’s decision and substituted it with: ‘The application is dismissed, with costs.’
Galp Eswatini stopped supplying the filling station with fuel and Big Tree Filling Station accused Galp Eswatini (Pty) Limited of cutting its supply of fuel in the hope to collapse its business.
The Director of Nur and Sam (Pty) Limited, trading as Big Tree Filling Station, Calu, made the allegation in an application filed by his company to compel Galp Eswatini to comply with an order that was issued by Judge Ticheme Dlamini on September 30, 2021.