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Workers union and Zululand District Municipality management to discuss suspension and disciplinary action of under-qualified senior managers

Zululand District Municipality mayor Thulasizwe Buthelezi. Picture: Facebook

Zululand District Municipality mayor Thulasizwe Buthelezi. Picture: Facebook

Published Jan 3, 2022

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DURBAN - A legal showdown is looming between the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) and Zululand District Municipality over the suspension and disciplinary action of senior managers who were found to be working without proper qualifications in their positions.

A Samwu leader in the municipality who refused to be named told the Daily News on Monday that a meeting with the employer is scheduled for Tuesday where the union would oppose the suspensions.

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The shop steward also said the union was opposed to the transfer of people without proper consultation, with the employer unilaterally making the decision towards the end of the last year.

“We are going to meet with the employer tomorrow. After serving us with letters of transfer as well as the suspension of the managers who were accused of being under-qualified last month, we wrote to the management and asked for a meeting to put our side of the story. We were given tomorrow’s date.”

It is anticipated that the matter may end up in court or with labour strike.

The municipality’s spokesperson Zanele Mthethwa confirmed that the meeting would take place but said she could not provide the exact date. She, however, confirmed that the municipality would go on and apply consequence management for the managers who were found to be under-qualified as well as the two who had no post-matric qualifications.

Mthethwa also confirmed that three senior managers resigned amid the verification process, which took the number of senior managers’ positions to be filled to 10.

The Daily News reported last year that the municipality qualification verification process had found five senior managers to be under-qualified while two did not possess any degree beyond matric.

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The municipality also started a process to transfer staff which workers also regarded as the purging of political opponents. The transfer and suspension of the staff angered the EFF and NFP, which accused the mayor Thulasizwe Buthelezi of purging staff for their political choices.

The EFF had threatened to pull out from the coalition which saw its sole councillor Thulani Ndlovu being elected as deputy mayor in the deal.

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