SAMWU said they would be challenging attempts by the Inkosi Langalibalele Municipality to retrench workers.

JOHANNESBURG  - The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) on Tuesday said they would be challenging attempts by the Inkosi Langalibalele Municipality (ILM) to retrench workers.

Samwu said the municipality had informed unions and workers of its intentions to retrench 41  percent of the workforce effective end of January 2019.

Provincial Secretary Jaycee Ncanana said they had received a Section 189A notice from the ILM.

“Community members should also take a stand against this decision as it will not only affect service delivery in their municipality but also increase the levels of unemployment in the community.  We remain convinced that the municipality and these jobs can be saved,” said Ncanana.

“It is very sickening that the employer has made their intentions known just a few weeks after the conclusion of the Presidential Jobs Summit where a commitment was signed that there would be a moratorium on retrenchments.”

Ncanana said in its application to the CCMA that the municipality claimed that it was in a dire financial state which had necessitated a reduction of costs to reestablish service delivery. The municipality further claimed that its liquidity challenges were as a result of salary disparities which had increased its wage bill.

SAMWU said this was not true because the decision to merge the Imbabazane and uMtshenzi local municipalities had been ill-conceived and done in haste without the consultation of workers. This had resulted in workers in the new municipality receiving different salaries for doing the same job.  

“SAMWU is convinced that the KZN Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) has deliberately allowed the Inkosi Langalibalele Local Municipality to fail. The municipality had been placed under administration by the department but instead of turning it around, it is now being run aground,” said Ncanana.

“It was KZN Cogta which instructed the municipality to reverse salary increments given to workers in addressing the salary disparities and recoup this money from workers. The department should have known that there was no way that this would happen as it would be illegal in terms of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.

“We remain convinced that the municipality and these jobs can be saved”.

- African News Agency (ANA)