Samwu urges city to return to negotiation table
In a bid to restore normalcy and service delivery, the Samwu calls for the City of Tshwane to re-engage in negotiations.
SATAWU protested outside Tshwane House in Pretoria, 26 July 2023. They are protesting about increases in their pay. Picture Neil McCartney
Samwu national spokesperson Papikie Mohale said the union was deeply concerned by the statement made by city mayor Cilliers Brink last week.
“Brink levelled serious accusations, suggesting the union has resorted to violence in our fight for the full implementation of 3.5% and 5.4% salary increases for 2021 and 2022,” he said.
“We categorically state that among the various charges and unwarranted dismissals issued to our members and municipal workers in Tshwane, none are related to the destruction or vandalism of municipal property.”
No communication from the city
Mohale said Samwu has not received any communication from the city in this regard.
“Samwu will not tolerate any form of violence against municipal infrastructure or attacks on workers,” he said.
Mohale said in the spirit of transparency and accountability, the union will cooperate with law enforcement authorities and if any of its members were found to have used the union’s name in committing violence, they would face a disciplinary process.
“The challenges in Tshwane cannot be resolved through arrogance, political manoeuvring, political opportunism, finger-pointing or violence. Instead, they require respectful and meaningful discussions, which the city has regrettably neglected. In the interest of normalcy, stability, and service delivery, we call on the city to return to the negotiation table,” he said.
Last week, Brink said the reason why the city was still behind on household waste collection was because streets were trashed and it took longer than usual to attend to electricity and water outages, was because of an ongoing illegal strike.
Brink said the city had evidence linking a senior Samwu leader in Tshwane to the torching of a waste truck several weeks ago.
“The evidence was handed over to the police and the investigation is still ongoing, but regrettably, no arrests have been made.”
“In the meantime, several attacks have been launched on city personnel, vehicles and infrastructure in furtherance of Samwu’s unprotected strike.”