Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
22 Apr 2022
8:07 pm

Labour Court rules in favour of 130 City of Joburg employees

Citizen Reporter

Samwu in the Johannesburg region has welcomed Friday’s judgment.

City of Joburg Mayor Mpho Phalatse. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

The Labour Court has ruled in favour of the 130 City of Johannesburg workers whose permanent employment contracts were reversed.

Last month, the 130 employees, took legal action against the metropolitan municipality following a contract dispute.

This was after the City of Joburg‘s council decided to reverse the workers’ permanent employment.

At the time, Joburg mayor Mpho Phalatse said the council had taken a decision after the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) and the employees’ lawyers missed the deadline to make any representations to challenge the move.

According to the new Democratic Alliance (DA)-led multi-party coalition government, the conversion of the fixed-term contracts to permanent was irregular and illegal because the decision – taken in October last year – was never approved by the council.

The ANC governed the metro at the time when a mayoral committee took the decision.

While their fixed contracts ended on 1 April, the employee’s legal representative, Mojalefa Motalane, submitted an urgent application –  opposed by the city – to the Labour Court.

In her judgment, Judge Connie Prinsloo ruled that the DA-led city’s government is restricted from implementing the council resolution taken on 25 February, prohibits it from implementing the management directive issued on 09 March 2022 and ordered the City to pay the applicant’s costs, which include two counsel.

Samwu in the Johannesburg region has welcomed Friday’s judgment.

“We are pleased that a competent court of law has once again ruled against DA’s led government racist and narcissistic conduct. This ruling comes as no surprise to us, as the union representing the affected employees, we’ve always maintained that decision to convert our members from contract to permanent was in line and within the confines of the country’s constitution and labour laws,” said Thobani Nkosi, Regional Secretary of Samwu Johannesburg.

The ANC Caucus said: “As the ANC, we would like to reiterate our support for these 130 employees who find themselves being victims of a political ploy and would like to remind them that we are in support of their plight of fighting against their unlawful dismissal.

“We welcome the judgment as it vindicates our long-standing position that these employees are indeed
qualified, skilled and rightfully employed at the City of Johannesburg, with their conversion effected
within the prescription of the South African labour laws.”