Pandemonium broke out at the Cape Town Civic Centre on Thursday morning when a group of firefighters managed to obtain access inside the Civic Centre. Picture: Marvin Charles/Cape Argus

Cape Town - Pandemonium broke out at the Cape Town Civic Centre on Thursday morning when a group of firefighters managed to gain entry to the building, forcing security to put the centre under temporary lock-down. Staff and visitors struggled to access the building. 

The Cape Argus understands that a memorandum was handed to City officials regarding equal pay. 

“We are here because we handed over a memorandum to the City officials it was peaceful and we were not robust or anything,” the firefighters representative Leroy Colete said.

The City of Cape Town’s Safety and Security Directorate previously addressed the concerns from a dispute with unions representing workers in the Fire and Rescue Service, on Monday.

The SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) and the Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (Imatu) lodged a labour dispute with the City after their demand for a 80% wage increase. Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said on Monday under the current collective agreement, unions representing firefighters agreed for them to work 24-hour shifts that equate to a 56-hour week. “As this is higher than the regular 40-hour work week, unions further agreed to a 22.8% allowance.

“The City offered to increase the standby allowance to 30%, but this was rejected.”

On the outside of the civic centre, police are maintaining a strong presence as MyCiTi bus drivers continued with day 4 of their wildcat strike. They managed to reach the outside of the main entrance and are currently still protesting. 

In the meantime, the City said it will approach the courts to apply for an urgent court interdict against the striking MyCiTi drivers.


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Cape Argus