Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)

JOHANNESBURG  - The main opposition Democratic Alliance on Tuesday applauded an agreement betweeen the city of Johannesburg and two unions aimed at improving labour relations, thus reducing strikes and improving services.

The DA has run Johannesburg in an alliance with other opposition parties after unseating the national governing African National Congress (ANC) in 2016.

On Tuesday it said the memorandum of understanding signed the previous day with the Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (IMATU) and the South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) would foster mutual accountability and a healthy relationship.

"When the DA-led administration took over the reins of South Africa’s economic hub, it inherited labour relations which were often volatile and disruptive," the party," DA national spokeswoman Refiloe Nt’sekhe said in a statement.

"This historic agreement between the city and labour unions will go a long way in fostering peaceful and stable labour relations in the city and will provide employees with a conducive work environment."

The agreement requires the city council, IMATU and SAMWU to work together in ensuring that allegations of fraud, corruption and malfeasance are investigated and to protect those who report wrong-doing from prejudice or intimidation.

It sets out requirements of a labour relations engagement framework with additional steps aimed at resolving disputes before they rise to the level of strike action.

The city will also withhold recognition of trade unions not constituted as per the stipulations of the Labour Relations Act.

The agreement however comes as mayor Herman Mashaba faces a motion of no confidence, which Nt’sekhe on Tuesday called an attempt by the ANC to destabilise and destroy the positive work of Johnesburg’s multi-party administration.

"The DA calls on the people of Johannesburg to support mayor Mashaba by signing a petition  to ensure that he can continue delivering quality services to the people of Johannesburg," she said.

- African News Agency (ANA)