Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality (EMLM) workers affiliated to the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) will stay in the streets until cooperative governance and traditional affairs MEC Xolile Nqatha gives an ear to their concerns.
“If he does not understand the urgency of this matter, we will stay in the streets waiting for him. We are not touching anything,” said Samwu local secretary, Thabo Ngwane.
He was speaking to The Rep shortly after the workers’ march to the ANC office in Ebden Street on Friday to deliver a list of demands.
Ngwane said the MEC postponed his planned meeting with the workers on Friday to “sometime next week”.
The workers allege that they are suffering because of administrative conflicts in the EMLM council and that the municipality has not delivered on resolutions taken at a previous Local Labour Forum (LLF) including a “binding contract” on the absorption of contract workers. This is one of the union’s key priorities in its “21 items on the table that have not been responded to since 2016”, Ngwane said.
He added: “The reason we went to the ANC office is because this council is led by the ANC, so those people that are [at the council], who we think are dragging their feet in giving us answers, are deployed by the ANC. We went to let them know that the people they deployed are taking us nowhere.”
The protestors were however unable to hand over their list of grievances as they were told the suitable person was not available. They dispersed but vowed to return to the ANC office today.
Read the full story, including a response from the ANC and the EMLM, in The Rep this week.