City of Tshwane workers face dismissal over disrupting bus services amid strike
It is alleged the workers intimidated their 'non-striking colleagues'.
A Re Yeng bus depot in Tshwane. Picture: Gallo Images/Lefty Shivambu
Seven City of Tshwane employees face the axe from their jobs amid a prolonged dispute between the metropolitan municipality and municipal workers over salary increases.
The city served the workers, whom it accused of being strike “instigators”, with intended letters of dismissal on Tuesday morning.
This after the workers allegedly prevented buses from resuming operations, suspended for more than a month due to the wage dispute.
It is alleged that the workers intimidated their “non-striking colleagues” at the C De Wet Depot in the Pretoria CBD.
According to the city, only a few employees reported for work on Tuesday.
“Twelve TBS drivers pitched up for duty this morning, four called in claiming to be sick, and only two buses went out for the 4.30am shift, but there were no commuters at the bus stations, and the buses returned to the depot,” City of Tshwane spokesperson Selby Bokaba said in a statement.
Bokaba indicated that the seven workers had been given 24 hours to make representations as to why they should not be permanently dismissed.
However, he said the A Re Yeng bus operations had been running smoothly since morning.
“While the Roads and Transport Department management will re-issue the instruction to TBS employees to service the afternoon operations, failing which, disciplinary action will be instituted, which will include the issuing of intended letters of dismissal.”
Workers have downed tools over the city’s decision not to increase their salaries despite the municipality being granted an interdict by the Labour Court.
The South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) and the Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union’s (Imatu) backed strike, which started in July, has led to an interruption in the delivery of services in the city and has resulted in 123 employees being fired for participating in the protest action.
Although the city says it cannot afford the 5.4% wage hike due to a budget cut of R3 billion, it has been ordered to pay the increases.
The South African Local Government Bargaining Council (SALGBC) rejected the city’s application to be exempted from implementing the wage agreement reached in 2021.
“Having reviewed [SALGBC] decision we have decided to take it on review at the Labour Court because as much as the bargaining council admits Tshwane is in financial distress and that we are in very difficult position when it comes to paying increases, nonetheless it declined our decision.