Siyamtanda Capa
2 minute read
4 Jun 2021
06:17

Firefighters threaten Msunduzi with further legal action for overtime pay owed

Siyamtanda Capa

Firefighters in Msunduzi are demanding the municipality pay them what they are owed in overtime.

Firefighters in Msunduzi are demanding the municipality pay them what they are owed in overtime.

The firefighters won a court challenge to get paid double the normal hourly rate for working on Sundays, but the City is yet to pay the money due to the firefighters.

This despite the judgment being handed down in the Durban Labour Court in March.

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The attorneys of the 27 municipal employees and the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) have threatened Msunduzi with further legal action.

In a letter dated June 2, attorney Brett Purdon wrote that should the City fail to comply with the judgment within 14 days, they would take the matter back to court.

Purdon added that despite the March 29 judgment, the City had failed to comply.

“We won the matter in court and the council has not implemented the court ruling, which means that the council is in contempt of the court ruling and our lawyers are busy with the matter. If nothing happens, we will advise our lawyers to interdict the municipality.”
Samwu regional secretary Linda Gcabashe

He wrote that they had previously written to Msunduzi and received no response or acknowledgement of receipt. “Should you not comply with the said judgments within 14 days, our instructions are to institute proceedings in terms of which administrator [Sicelo Duma], and municipal manager [Madoda Khathide] be placed in contempt of the attached orders and that an appropriate sentence be sought,” said Purdon.

Prior to the judgment, three Durban Labour Court judges dismissed an appeal by the municipality.

The City wanted the court to set aside a 2019 ruling of the same court that Msunduzi is obliged to pay its fire department staff working on Sundays double the normal hourly rate from March 2011.

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The judges said that from the evidence before the court, it was apparent that double pay for working on Sunday was paid by the municipality to staff from 2001 to 2011.

Samwu regional secretary Linda Gcabashe said should the City not comply, they would instruct their lawyers to proceed with the court action.

Gcabashe said: “We won the matter in court and the council has not implemented the court ruling, which means that the council is in contempt of the court ruling and our lawyers are busy with the matter. If nothing happens, we will advise our lawyers to interdict the municipality.”