Picture: Oupa Mokoena/ African News Agency (ANA)

Pretoria - The South African Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) says it has reached an agreement with the City of Tshwane, under a conciliation process in the South African Local Government Bargaining Council (SALGBC), following days of massive protests which crippled Pretoria's CBD.

In a statement late on Thursday, Samwu General Secretary Koena Ramotlou said the protesting workers' main grievance was City of Tshwane’s decision to upgrade salaries of top executives by 18 percent, dating back to 2017, only to leave out lower level employees.

"The City [Tshwane] had committed that they would be seeking a mandate on the framework that Samwu has presented and indeed the City has stayed true to their commitment and an agreement has been reached for an amicable solution to the current impasse between the City and the workers," said Ramatlou.

In resolving the impasse, the parties have concluded an agreement that includes an off ex-gratia payment to workers as "an equalisation allowance".

Ramatlou said workers who earn less than R20 000 per month will be paid a once-off payment of R15 000. 

Workers earning above R20 000 will be paid a once-off payment of R10 000, while municipal workers that earn more than R30 000 per month will be paid a once-off payment of R7 000.

"In the following two months a dedicated task team will conduct a benchmarking exercise on the pay scale of other metro municipalities in order to develop a pay scale for the City of Tshwane. The 18 percent salary increase that has been implemented for the Group and Divisional heads will be dismantled with immediate effect," said Ramatlou.

"As Samwu our aim is to make considerable strides to ensure that we protect the interest of our members and improve their conditions of service. The struggle of workers remains to be our struggle."

Stick-wielding municipal workers have this week been on the rampage in the Pretoria CBD, upending trash bins onto roads and using municipal buses and trucks to block some street intersections as they pressed for an 18 percent salary increase.

African News Agency/ANA