Press Statement dated 13 April 2018

Members of the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) along with fellow workers at the Madibeng Municipality in the North West Province have embarked on a protest action following the municipality’s unilateral decision to change the organizational structure. Workers are also protesting against chronic and cancerous corruption in the municipality.

The municipality, in particular the Municipal Manager had taken a decision that they would not be engaging with workers on issues which directly affect them, instead of addressing the genuine issues which have been raised by workers, the Municipal Manager has resorted to insulting and intimidating workers thus further collapsing employer-employee relationship which has now resulted in the non-existence of labour relations in the municipality.

The Municipal Council has also taken a decision that they will suppress the views and rights of workers. The Council recently unilaterally changed the organizational structure in the municipality without any input from organized labour. This decision is not only a provocation against workers but illegal as it will lead to change of conditions of service for workers without any consultation.

The Madibeng Municipality has once again proven that municipalities are a breeding ground for corruption. In a sign of rampant corruption and disregard for public funds, the municipality has entered into a corrupt contract with a company which will lease 150 vehicles to the municipality at a cost of R17 million a month for a 3 year period. The total of the contract is valued at R620 million for the 3 year period.

Suspiciously, under the agreement, the municipality will be responsible for the service and maintenance of the fleet thus bringing the total cost to be incurred by the municipality to over R1 billion. At a cost of R17 million a month, the municipality can procure 50 vehicles a months or a fleet of 1800 vehicles in the same 3 year period yet the municipality decided to enter into this lease agreement which stinks of corruption and does not add any value to the municipality or its residents alike.

We therefore call on the Minister of Traditional Affairs and Cooperative Governance, Dr Zweli Mkhize to urgently intervene in the municipality as he had promised immediately after being appointed that he would intervene in troublesome municipalities. We will further be approaching the courts with the prayer of setting aside this corrupt tender which will adversely affect workers and service delivery alike.

Our members have also given us a mandate to apply for a strike certificate which we will ensure happens unless the municipality reverses their unilateral decisions and corrupt tenders. We also call on community members to join us in protest against corruption in the municipality, if left unattended, citizens of Madibeng will not receive any service delivery as the much needed resources are corruptly channeled to individuals.

Issued by SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) North West