Molefe Seeletsa

Compiled by Molefe Seeletsa

Digital Journalist

City of Tshwane workers face dismissal over disrupting bus services amid strike

It is alleged the workers intimidated their 'non-striking colleagues'.

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.

‘Strike instigators’

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.

ALSO READ: Tshwane ‘not backing down’, takes stand against Samwu strike

“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.”

SALGBA intervenes

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.

READ MORE: Tshwane protests: Waste heaps up as strikers attack trucks

Tshwane mayor Cilliers Brink has since confirmed that the metro would challenge SALGBC’s decision through courts.

“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.

“We believe there are grounds for review of this decision in the best interests of the residents of Tshwane. We trust that law and order in these circumstances will be maintained,” Brink said.

Read more on these topics

Cilliers Brink City of Tshwane Samwu strike

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