WATCH: Tshwane municipal workers intensify protest in Pretoria CBD
Pretoria - Tshwane municipal workers intensified their protest over "benchmarking payments" when they went on the rampage, burning wheelie bins and destroying fire hydrants in the Pretoria CBD.
Angry workers affiliated to the SA Municipal Workers Union also cut open metal water pipes, opened manholes and burnt fires at the intersection of Thabo Sehume and Madiba streets.
They went berserk around the city, chanting Struggle songs and intimidating shop owners, who were forced to close their businesses.
Some streets were blocked off with municipal refuse trucks, rocks and burning wheelie bins, which disrupted traffic.
Others were demonstrating outside Tshwane House, demanding that their benchmarking payments be paid in line with the collective agreement reached between workers unions and the City last year.
The agreement was premised on the outcome of the benchmarking investigation, which measured the salary scales of Tshwane workers against their counterparts in other metros.
The investigation was undertaken following the outcries that City workers were paid less compared to workers at the metropolitan municipalities on level 10 grade.
In 2017, the Department of Cooperative Governance elevated the City's ranking from grade 9 to 10, but the employees' salary scales were never adjusted accordingly. Workers demanded to see proof of “benchmarking payments”, backdated from July 2017 when Tshwane was upgraded from level 9 to 10.
Workers also called for head administrator Mpho Nawa to be fired.
This week Nawa said the City could not afford payouts due to its declining revenue, compounded by the negative effects of Covid-19.
He cited that 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.
Meanwhile, the ANC in Tshwane on Wednesday expressed support for workers' call, but denounced acts of vandalism to public properties.
"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," said the ANC in a statement.
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