City of Johannesburg and trade unions signed a MoU agreement on Monday Picture:Supplied

JOHANNESBURG  - The City of Johannesburg, the independent municipal and allied trade union (IMATU) and the South African municipal workers union (Samwu) on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

The signing of the MoU follows a lekgotla held on Friday with representatives of the City and both trade unions. The MoU is now binding upon all parties and is enforceable in terms of the Labour Relations Act.

The parties committed to achieve a cohesive work force in the city aligned and committed to address the needs of the city's residents.

Joburg city manager Ndivhoniswani Lukhwareni said the memorandum of understanding was a first of its kind in local government history, achieving a strategic partnership between the city and its trade unions. 

“At its core is a recognition that the City and its unions are interdependent, and as such can find common ground is available to advance the needs of our residents and employees in Johannesburg,”said Lukhwareni.

“The MoU establishes a framework which will establish a partnership between IMATU, SAMWU and the city in the budget planning processes of government. As representatives of employees in the city, organised labour has a critical perspective in the execution of service delivery.

“Drive performance management in the city in such a manner as to accelerate service delivery and generate a more conducive working environment for employees to serve our residents.”

Lukhwareni said the MoU will require IMATU, SAMWU and the city of Johannesburg to partner together in ensuring allegations of fraud, corruption and malfeasance were investigated and outcomes were implemented. There were further requirements to protect those who report wrongdoing from any form of prejudice or intimidation.

He said it will establish the principles of a labour relations environment that achieve greater levels of stability through an open-door policy, requirements to engage in good faith and from a problem solving perspective and set out the requirements of a labour relations engagement framework which will provide the mechanisms to achieve stability in labour relations. The agreement also aims to specifically achieve additional steps to resolve issues in dispute before they escalate to the level of strike action.

"The MoU will ensure that the city does not provide recognition to unrecognised trade unions as per the stipulations of the Labour Relations Act. Under this MoU, each of the parties will hold each other to account in a manner which forms a healthy relationship between government and organised labour," said Lukhwareni.

"The MoU requires the city and organised labour to be accountable for the actions of those they represent, and provide the requisite leadership to prevent breakdowns in labour relations."

Lukhwareni said in the event that any of the parties breach this MoU, the enforcement procedures require binding arbitration with powers to award costs or necessitate disciplinary action against any employee of the city.

He said the signing of the MoU is a massive step forward for the residents of Johannesburg and employees of the city.

On Thursday Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba will face a motion of no confidence tabled by the ANC. Mashaba did not want to comment and said "I don't know the result for the motion of no confidence".

- African News Agency (ANA)