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By Itumeleng Mafisa

Digital Journalist

DA criticises City of Joburg for re-employing 130 workers as service delivery budget is cut

The DA claims that the City of Joburg employees' contracts were modified illegally.

The DA in the City of Johannesburg said it was consulting its lawyers over the reappointment of 130 workers who were fired from the municipality after it was discovered their contracts were illegally modified to being permanent.

DA claims contracts changed illegally

During Friday’s council meeting, DA caucus leader Belinda Kayser-Echeozonjoku argued that despite a court ruling by the South Gauteng High Court, the workers’ contracts had still been modified illegally.

ALSO READ: City of Joburg to comply with ruling after court orders metro to reinstate 130 fired workers

It was discovered that the contracts had been changed from fixed term contracts to permanent contracts at the time the late Geoff Makhubo was the mayor of the city.

Kayser-Echeozonjoku criticised the City of Johannesburg for increasing the salary bill by more than R50m at the recent budget adjustment.

“The fact that the mayoral committee at the time decided that the mayoral committee decision is more important than the national legislation and also that the MEC of Cogta at the time questioned the decision should be enough to show that this a precedent that is very risky,” she said.

There are suspicions that this decision was also made to accommodate the wages of the 130 employees.

The DA said the re-employment of these workers would see the municipality being filled with workers who had ties to the ANC.

“How ironic that this item is tabled at the time when the service delivery budget is being cut by billions. It shows that this administration of doom only cares about ensuring salaries for cadres,” she said.

GLU defends employment of 130

However, councillors who were part of the Government of Local Unity (GLU) led by Mayor Kabelo Gwamanda defended the return of the workers to the City of Johannesburg.

“The DA attitude towards black professionals and when I say black, I include coloured people is that of not caring, it is that of destroying their livelihood and destroying their future,” Patriotic Alliance (PA) deputy president Kenny Kunene said.

ALSO READ: Labour Court rules in favour of 130 City of Joburg employees

ANC MMC for Group Corporate and Shared Services, Loyiso Masuku, said the DA owes the 130 workers an apology for ending their contracts.

“The DA owes the 130 an apology, they owe their grandmothers, their aunts and uncles an apology,” Masuku said.

Masuku added that the GLU was ready to implement the ruling of the court.

There is, however, confusion about the number of workers who would be re-employed. The court ruled that 78 workers should be rehired. It is not clear what would happen to the rest of the workers, especially those that are not affiliated to the union Samwu and the ANC.

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