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Tshwane mayor Cilliers Brink during the media briefing on the municipality strike. Picture: ANTONIO MUCHAVE.
Tshwane mayor Cilliers Brink during the media briefing on the municipality strike. Picture: ANTONIO MUCHAVE.

The administration of the Tshwane metro municipality and its municipal workers are back at the negotiating table in yet another effort to resolve their pay dispute and labour unrest.

This is according to the multiparty coalition oversight group, which met on Tuesday to receive a progress report on the fraught labour relations in Tshwane.

On Wednesday, the group reported that the CCMA was facilitating pay talks between the City of Tshwane and labour union representatives.

In a statement, the oversight group said: “The city and the unions have agreed to protect the integrity of the talks by allowing the CCMA to communicate on their collective behalf and, as such, we will not ventilate these matters as a multiparty coalition.”

Despite the step back, the multiparty top brass expressed that there were two important issues that should take centre stage: labour stability and the financial sustainability of the municipality.

“The CCMA engagements are a positive step in this regard.”

ActionSA Gauteng chair Funzi Ngobeni welcomed the move, saying that the coalition oversight group — as the highest decision-making body of the parties — had met and their long-standing view that the impasse should be resolved through talks, emerged victorious.

“We received an update and feedback from the mayor about the negotiations between the city and the labour unions.

“We are happy to report that ActionSA has been clear about the need to resolve the strike through negotiation. We are happy that negotiations have started and will continue next week.

“The issue of the salary increase is on the agenda, and we are going to find a solution to ensure that we bring back service delivery, stabilise the city and have all the workers back at work.”

Previously, Tshwane’s DA mayor Cilliers Brink was accused of ignoring an instruction from the metro’s multiparty coalition to negotiate with unions to end three months of labour strife. 

However, Brink drew a line between the coalition oversight group — which consists of his coalition partners’ top brass — and his city administration at the time.

“City council decisions cannot be instructed by some other structure, that is not correct and would be improper. The oversight group exists for consultation, to inform the different party leaders of what’s happening.”

Brink said his role was to keep the grouping updated on developments around the three-month-long pay dispute. 

“The coalition oversight group was called to be informed of the situation and financial status of Tshwane, what the thinking is behind the review application and the extent of the engagements with the unions.”

Brink maintained that the city could not afford the pay rise demanded by the SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) and the Independent Municipal & Allied Trade Union (Imatu). The SA Local Government Bargaining Council has ruled in favour of the unions, but the metro has appealed against this in the labour court. 

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