ANC supportes. Picture: REUTERS
ANC supportes. Picture: REUTERS

The ANC in the greater Tshwane region has thrown its weight behind the crippling strike action by SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) in Pretoria.

ANC regional secretary Eugene Modise said they supported Samwu for being “proactive” in engaging the City of Tshwane to resolve the wage impasse.

On Monday, major streets in Tshwane were under lockdown after municipal bus drivers blocked the CBD with buses in support of their demand for high wages. This left hundreds of commuters stranded.

The city’s employees are demanding that the 18% wage increases senior managers received recently be extended to lower level workers too.

On Tuesday, Modise said the governing party has full confidence in Samwu to represent workers to find a solution to the impasse. Samwu is an affiliate of union federation Cosatu, an alliance partner of the ANC.

“The ANC is monitoring the developments intimately and we will get involved should there be a deadlock and political disagreement or stalemate between Samwu and the employer. Our interest is to see an amicable solution to the labour dispute and for workers to be treated fairly by the employer,” he said.

ANC regional communications manager Tlangi Mogale said they will meet with municipal workers with a view to break the deadlock between Samwu and the metro.

“The workers do have our support. We anticipated that the DA government would be stubborn about the whole process. We are going to meet with the workers and provide the media with an update as to what the ANC will do going forward,” said Mogale. “We are hopeful of an amicable and prompt resolution to the impasse.”

Samwu couldn’t immediately be reached for comment, but has said if no agreement is reached on Tuesday, it would intensify the strike. Intensified industrial action could see all of the city’s 19,000-strong workforce downing tools in a bid to force the city to accede to their demand for an 18% wage increase, backdated to 2017.

Moeketsi Mosola

Municipal workers are also unhappy with the council’s decision to allow city manager Moeketsi Mosola to receive a R7.5m payout to step down at the end of July. The agreement between Mosola and the city council was reached on Thursday in a closed sitting by the Tshwane metro.

Under the mayorship of Solly Msimanga, the DA-led coalition twice attempted to have Mosola suspended from office and failed on both counts. The first attempt was as a result of his alleged role in the GladAfrica Group matter. Mosola was under investigation for procurement irregularities in connection with the city’s contract with the engineering consultants. 

GladAfrica was appointed to run a project-management unit for the Tshwane metro. The contract was, however, open-ended and resulted in R318m of irregular expenditure for the 2017/2018 financial year.

The second attempt arose from allegations of  Mosola contravening the code of conduct for municipal staff members.

However, Modise said the ANC Tshwane caucus was not aware of any amount of money paid to Mosola to go. “[The] council has, however, approved the executive mayor’s report for the City of Tshwane to enter into a separation agreement with the city manager and pay him out the portion of his contract left to date since 2017, when he started.” 

mkentanel@businesslive.co.za