The City of Tshwane said its finances are in a precarious state, therefore, it cannot pay SAMWU strikers' benchmarking monies.

THE City of Tshwane has been granted an urgent court interdict by the Labour Court against members affiliated to the South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) and the ongoing disruption of services.  

The City released a statement on Monday 27 July saying that the ongoing labour dispute between SAMWUand the City is having a devastating impact on the provision of service delivery across the all the seven regions in the municipality. 

This comes after SAMWU members recently took to the streets of the Pretoria CBD in want of their benchmarking payments. 

According to the City, provision of services in various regions in respect of water and sanitation, energy and electricity, and regravelling of roads have been severely affected. Other services that have been severely impacted by the strike include the suspension of the bus services, closure of some of the customer care walk-in-centres and a clinic. 

According to the statement, workers that have reported for duty in certain regions have been physically threatened and their office forcefully closed by the striking workers. 

Management has conceded to one of the workers’ demands of the payment of the annual wage increment, which would be paid on Wednesday 29 July 2020. The leadership of the municipality has made it abundantly clear to the labour union representatives that the city’s finances were in dire straits and thus cannot afford to pay the workers their outstanding benchmarking monies at this juncture. 

The Labour Court of South Africa, on Friday 24 July 2020, granted the City of Tshwane an urgent interdict which ordered workers affiliated to SAMWU to immediately cease and desist from the following: 

  • Blocking or interfering with the traffic flow in the Pretoria CBD, without proper authority being obtained for a protest march; 
  • Damaging any property of the applicant (City of Tshwane), residents, or business owners in the City of Tshwane; and 
  • Threatening, manhandling or assaulting any employee or contractor of the applicant. 

Tshwane Head Administrator Mpho Nawa has urged the striking workers to comply with the order of the Labour Court and pleaded with the parties to return to the negotiation table.

(Source: The South African)

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