An official in the City of Tshwane’s offices in Centurion allegedly called workers in the electricity department “baboons”, and they have since embarked on a strike.
According to the South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU), this particular official allegedly also does not allow them to speak in their home language in front of supervisors.
The office of the Executive Mayor of Tshwane said they had noted with regret the allegations of racist behaviour levelled against a senior official at its Centurion regional office.
Executive mayoral spokesperson Sam Samkelo Mgobozi said: “At the surfacing of the allegations, the regional office swiftly met with the official, and the union to deal decisively with the subject matter.
“Following submissions from both parties, the case remains a stalemate, as the union could not advance evidence to support the allegations.
“The accused maintains the quarrel is a direct result of the introduction of new management systems to deal with excessive overtime claims and other procedural practices,” Mgobozi said.
He said they had since referred the matter to their corporate and shared services for further investigations and corrective measures.
“The workers have since embarked on an unprotected strike and are engaging in criminality by intimidating employees wishing to continue with their work.
“We are in the process of sourcing an urgent court interdict against them to return to work or face disciplinary hearings,” Mgobozi added.
He said they were currently making use of contractors and employees from other regions to ensure that service delivery was uninterrupted.
“We hold true principles of nonracialism, nonsexism and equality in the workplace. We urge employees to report incidents through correct systems, as unlawfulness and intimidation will not be tolerated,” Mgobozi added.