File picture: ROBERT BOTHA.
File picture: ROBERT BOTHA.

The SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) aims to shut down the Johannesburg central business district when it holds a march on Wednesday next week.

The country's biggest municipal union's march is expected to disrupt service delivery in the economic hub of Joburg. The city has the biggest budget of all the metros in SA with R64.5bn allocated for the 2019/2020 financial year.

Newly elected Samwu deputy regional secretary Thobani Nkosi  told journalists on Wednesday that the march was aimed at highlighting their grievances with the DA-led municipality.

Nkosi said the union was not happy with outgoing DA mayor Herman Mashaba's administration of the metro. He said Samwu members were being victimised and targeted by the metro.

Mashaba resigned from the DA and as mayor in October. He will vacate office on November 27. Nkosi said they were being sent from pillar to post with regard to the R29m in union subscription fees the metro was said by the union to be illegally withholding.

“The city has never responded to our demands for the release of subscription fees ... It has been playing hide and seek, with no response to our demands.”

Nkosi also dismissed the historic pact signed by Mashaba, Samwu and the Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union in August, as part of a “divide-and-rule strategy”. The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was aimed at promoting harmonious labour relations between the stakeholders and advancing service delivery in the metro.

“As a united Samwu we reiterate our initial position that the MoU is not recognised by us as members.”

Another bone of contention was the “continued use” of lawyers in internal disciplinary matters, said Nkosi, noting that such an act was in contravention of the metro's disciplinary code of conduct.

He accused a certain law firm of “milking the city” by charging almost R2m per matter. “There are currently more than 700 cases under way. You do the maths.”

“The peaceful march on November 20 will speak to these matters and the other issues that will be deliberated upon by Samwu,”  Nkosi said.

mkentanel@businesslive.co.za