The transformation of municipalities will not happen without an effort by labour unions, Mangaung mayor Thabo Manyoni said on Tuesday.
“As a predominant union for municipal workers in local government politics, Samwu has a meaningful role to play in our endeavour (to) create a responsive, accountable, effective and efficient local government system,” Manyoni told the national congress of the SA Municipal Workers Union.
Manyoni is also the national chairman of the SA Local Government Association (Salga).
He said workers as members of the tripartite alliance should be aware of the priority to “transform the state into a stronger, more cohesive, developmental state”.
Manyoni urged delegates to reflect on the implications of the ever-changing environment of both the future of the alliance and the fundamental strategic objectives the country was pursuing.
“This will enable us to remain steadfast in our constitutional mandate of delivering basic services to our citizenry.”
The congress heard it was important to create a peaceable environment between the alliance and the government of the day.
Manyoni said a lack of political stability within municipalities could, to some degree, be blamed on the confrontational relationship between municipal administrations and organised labour.
He said workers and government should invoke the Freedom Charter pledge of “strive together” in any future conflict situation.
“Even at municipal level we have to strive for good progress and co-operation in all the proceedings of Local Labour Forums.”
Manyoni said the recent report of the Auditor-General - mainly characterised by the adverse audit opinion, implying non-compliance of municipalities - was a matter of great concern.
Local government’s leaders and unions should root out corruption in the municipal system.
The need for municipal administrations to become professional could no longer be ignored, Manyoni said. - Sapa