News / South Africa / Protests

Janine Viljoen
2 minute read
3 Jun 2020
9:50 am

Mogale City workers still on go-slow while council approves R100m overdraft

Janine Viljoen

The go-slow started on 22 May when the workers did not receive payment for the hours they have worked during the lockdown.

Picture: Krugersdorp News

Workers in Mogale City Local Municipality’s employ are still on a go-slow as it seems that negotiations between the municipality’s management and the workers’ unions are not panning out, reports Krugersdorp News.

The go-slow started on 22 May when the workers did not receive payment for the hours they have worked during the lockdown.

By 25 May they took to the street and started to burn tyres and rubbish bins, leaving the community frustrated as municipal services such as refuse collection have not been rendered since.

In a television broadcast on Tuesday evening, 26 May, it was reported that the municipality and the unions involved had come to an agreement, and that the workers were subsequently paid and ordered to get back to work.

It is not clear what the payment arrangements were, but the municipal spokesperson, Lucky Sele, announced in the television news broadcast that they were negotiating with unions to find a solution. As of yesterday, 1 June, negotiations were still ongoing, and workers still had not received payment.

The local Democratic Alliance (DA) said in a statement that it was now more important than ever that residents of the sinking Mogale City elect a new council, due to the current administration’s inability to govern the municipality.

“Thousands of residents in Mogale City will be forced to fund a R100-million overdraft facility. During a virtual council meeting last week, the ANC and Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) approved an overdraft in addition to other loans the municipality has taken out.

“Thirty-eight ANC and one IFP councillor voted in favour of the R100 million overdraft facility, while the DA and Freedom Front Plus (FF+) opposed it, and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) abstained.

“This quick fix for their financial shortfall will have a dire effect on ratepayers in Mogale City. Furthermore, the municipality has nothing to show for all the money it keeps on borrowing,” the statement read.

The statement outlines the current state of affairs, saying service delivery remains in dire straits while refuse is not being collected.

“The R105 million Krugersdorp Taxi Rank project has stalled, Eskom and Rand Water are owed millions, illegal electricity connections are bound at the Taxi House informal settlement, and essential workers went on a protest earlier this week after not receiving payment for extra hours worked during the national lockdown. The solution put forward by the DA to get Mogale City back on its feet again is to trim the fat, cut expenditure and support the local economy.”

Mogale City’s communications department was approached for urgent feedback, on numerous occasions, but none has been forthcoming.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.