Samwu regional secretary Mpho Tladinyane demonstrates outside Tshwane House. Picture: Rapula Moatshe
Samwu regional secretary Mpho Tladinyane demonstrates outside Tshwane House. Picture: Rapula Moatshe

Tshwane Samwu workers call for head administrator Mpho Nawa to go

By Rapula Moatshe Time of article published Jul 22, 2020

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Traffic was again disrupted in Pretoria CBD as the disgruntled municipal workers affiliated to SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) took to the street, demanding to see proof of " benchmarking" payments.

Workers convened outside Tshwane House, where they chanted songs and demonstrated in the streets, calling for the head administrator Mpho Nawa to vacate office.

The protest continued despite a pronouncement by Nawa on Tuesday that the City would not afford payouts due to its declining revenue, compounded by the negative effects of Covid-19.

He said the actual average revenue collection for April to June was 68%, which equalled a loss of income for the three months of more than R2.8 billion.

Some streets were blocked off with municipal refuse trucks, rocks and burning wheelie bins.

The SAPS officers and metro police kept an eye on the situation for the better part of the day.

Protesters vowed to demonstrate in the inner-city until they had been shown proof that the City would pay their "benchmarking payments" on Friday.

Samwu general-secretary, Koena Ramotlou, said workers were not on strike, but they had come to Tshwane House to check if the benchmarking monies and the 6.25% salary increment would reflect on their salary slip on pay day.

"We can't be blackmailed by administrators and councillors that they can't pay out monies which are signed and sealed and think that we are the weakest persons in the payment plan they have in the municipality," he said.

Ramotlou warned other municipalities in the country against paying workers the 6.25% increment, threatening that all hell would break loose if they withdraw from the standing salary increase agreement.

"Tshwane must issue letters today that the benchmarking monies would be paid on pay day," he said.

The ANC in Tshwane expressed concern over the impasse between the workers and the City's administrators.

In a media statement, the party said: "There is a 2019 agreement that was inherited by the administrators to which labour agreed to a nine months waiting period before it could be implemented. We would like to implore the administrators and workers' representatives to resolve the impasse."

Meanwhile, the City suspended the operation of Tshwane Bus Services and A Re Yeng buses due to the protest action.

City spokesperson Selby Bokaba said the decision was taken for the safety of the drivers and commuters as well as to protect the City’s assets.

"We will assess the situation during the course of the day and make a determination about when operations would resume. Commuters are advised to make alternative travel arrangements. The City would like to offer an apology to its bus commuters for the inconvenience caused," he said.

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Pretoria News

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