Press Statement dated 15 February 2019

City of Johannesburg on yet another attempt to Destabilize SAMWU

The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) has noted that the City of Johannesburg is on yet another attempt to destabilise the union. The City of Johannesburg has since the 2016 Local Government elections tried on numerous occasions to silence and divide the union.

The City of Johannesburg has lost so many cases against SAMWU in the courts of law from the Labour Court right up to the Constitutional Court yet they still continue with their attempts to destabilise the union. Their aim is to agitate union membership against the union’s members with the sole intention crippling the union.

On the 14th February 2019, City Power officials arrived at the union’s Head Offices in Johannesburg with the aim of disconnecting electricity to the building. These officials were called into an office wherein they were shown the invoice sent by the City and the last proof of payment. They however insisted that they were instructed by their superiors that they should disconnect the union’s power by all means. The officials then proceeded to illegally disconnect electricity supply as per the instruction of their seniors.

Today the City lied to Johannesburg residents through a statement wherein they claim that the union owes the City R1.2 million for electricity, water, sewer, rates and refuse. First and foremost, this is the first time that we see the City releasing a statement on details of a client including how much the client owes and that the client has been disconnected due to non-payment.

The City of Johannesburg is however lying about the amount which is owed by SAMWU. According to an invoice dated 04 February 2019 (attached), the union owes the City R38 411.03. The union last made payment to the on the 28th January for an amount of R13 224.89 (POP attached).

The City has therefore, out of their hatred and desire to see the collapse of SAMWU gone out of their way to cook figures, instructed City Power to illegally disconnect electricity supply to the union Head Offices.

The truth of the matter is that this illegal action by the City is merely retaliation by the City after the union successfully attached the City’s bank account.

The City does not want its residents knowing that they no longer have access to their banking account as it has been attached by the sheriff of the court as a result of the City’s failure to pay a SAMWU employee R1 619 740.32 (execution order attached).

We will not be deterred by cowardice move by the City, we in fact will be approaching the courts on an urgent basis to compel the City to restore electricity at our Head Offices. Such illegal moves by the City will not deter us from servicing our members with diligence and forcing the City to pay where needs be.

Issued by SAMWU Secretariat

Issued by the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu)