Thando Nondlwana

By Thando Nondywana

News Reporter

City of Joburg is talking to union, security personnel at last

Negotiations between Imatu, security personnel, and Joburg end positively despite unresolved issues; hope for workers.

The tense negotiations between the Independent Municipality and Allied Trade Union (Imatu), security personnel, and the City of Joburg public safety management ended on a positive note, despite not reaching a clear agreement on a number of issues.

According to Imatu and other worker representatives, the city had agreed to resolve one demand.

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Church Mothapo, Imatu regional manager, said there was “a reluctance at first to pay attention to our security issues”.

“There is now at least interest,” he said. “The fact that we’ve agreed to review the job descriptions and subject candidates to a grading process is a positive step.”

The city agreed to work on reviewing and regrading security officers’ job description, while the issue of risk allowance back-pay and overtime would be discussed.

“They have undertaken to look at the possible resolution of the risk allowance back payment and overtime which opens the door for further discussions,” said Mothapo.

“We are hopeful that the officials will put the interests of the workers first.”

But workers’ representative Moses Mogale slammed the city’s delaying tactics, calling it a betrayal to the fight of workers.

The disgruntled group of workers handed over a memorandum of demands to the city manager and head of the department in March.

“We were not negotiating but demanding the rights for the workers,” he said.

“It is discouraging that it has taken many years to get the attention by these officials who were clearly ducking and diving with the lives of security officers.”

Former Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba insourced more than 4 000 security personnel in July 2018 who were deployed under different entities in the city.

Employees accused executives of exploitation and bemoaned their poor working conditions.

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Vusimuzi Nkala, a security officer under metro police, said: “Since our insourcing six years ago, we have been ill-treated and failed by our officials.

“They ridiculed us as Mashaba’s people when we tried getting answers. But we will not back down until the right thing is done.”

Meanwhile, a group of security officers protested outside the city’s health department in inner Joburg on Tuesday.

The group has been camping outside the offices over the termination of their contracts.

ActionSA, which joined the picket, called on Public Service and Administration Minister Noxolo Kiviet to intervene in the crisis faced by municipal workers in metros across the country.

They said the city wanted to outsource their service through tenders to private security companies.

“All the government departments are in a state of collapse,” said the party’s councillor Mpumi Edward.

“The department that is solely responsible for this collapse of municipality departments, particularly with municipal workers, is as a result of a lack of public service.

“What we are seeing in the city is also happening in other provinces where municipal workers are deprived of their rights,” said Edward.