Fired municipal workers in ‘unprotected strike’ want to be reinstated

Fired Tshwane workers protest during the launch a newfleet of 161 vehicles early this week. Picture: Jacques Naude / Independent Newspapers

Fired Tshwane workers protest during the launch a newfleet of 161 vehicles early this week. Picture: Jacques Naude / Independent Newspapers

Published May 31, 2024


The 45 municipal workers, who were dismissed by the City of Tshwane after being accused of serious crimes during last year’s unprotected wage strike, want to be reinstated.

The group was among more than 100 workers who were fired during the four-month strike led by the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu).

The strike was marred by incidents of violence and acts of sabotage on service delivery.

During the strike more than 250 municipal vehicles were torched, buildings and infrastructure were damaged allegedly by the strikers.

This week the disgruntled group demonstrated outside the City’s fleet management offices in Pretoria, where Mayor Cilliers Brink launched the newly-purchased 161 fleet of vehicles valued at R60 million.

Their representative Isaac Ndalamo said they would continue to demonstrate in public “until the executive mayor hears our cry because we have never done anything wrong”.

“We are saying that if there is something wrong we did, why are our issues not handed over to the SAPS. Maybe one of us would be arrested if they had done something. But no one has even been arrested with the investigation of the SAPS in place,” he said.

Early this month, Brink said he wrote a letter to the SAPS provincial commissioner of Gauteng, Lieutenant-General Tommy Mthombeni, requesting urgent feedback on the progress of the cases of those implicated in serious crimes during the strike action.

Brink wanted to be updated on the investigations’ progress, including the analysis of the dockets and the list of instigators.

MMC for Community Safety, Grandi Theunissen said he has been actively monitoring progress on the 47 criminal cases related to the 2023 unlawful labour protest action since February 2024.

He was concerned about the slow pace by the SAPS to ensure that those implicated in criminal incidents during the strike were brought to book.

Ndalamo said while more than 100 workers were dismissed there were at least 81 who were reinstated.

“They decided to leave the 45 outside. They are not willing to sit down with us to engage on the matter so that they can prove allegations against us. The bargaining council referred the matter to the Labour Court of which it is a disadvantage because the Labour Court processes can take up to three years. We are saying we are demanding our reinstatement with immediate effect,” he said.

Last year, the EFF in Tshwane said while it was happy with the reinstatement of 81 workers the party’s fight was “far from over as we call on the city to recall the remaining 45 employees who have also been unjustly removed from their positions”.

Pretoria News

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