The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) says it has received a report that workers’ salaries were paid on Friday by the West Rand district municipality

This comes after officials in the district municipality were held hostage from Wednesday afternoon until the early hours of Thursday morning over the nonpayment of workers.

“The municipality had failed to honour its contractual agreement with workers by not paying all workers their salaries on October 25‚” Samwu western region secretary Siseko Siyothula said.

“Over and above the failure to pay salaries‚ third parties such as medical aid‚ pension fund and union subscriptions have not been paid in over three months.”

Siyothula said the situation in which the municipality finds itself can be attributed to its failure to properly manage its funds‚ “including the ill-conceived decision to invest over R77m with VBS Mutual Bank”.

“If workers had not taken matters into their hands yesterday‚ they would obviously not be paid to this day. We will therefore be pushing hard to ensure that the West Rand district municipality pays all third parties that are in arrears.

“We cannot allow a situation wherein workers have to suffer as a result of the bad decisions taken by the municipality‚ decisions they were not party to‚” said Siyothula.

It was reported earlier this week that the mayor‚ councillors‚ executives‚ managers and supervisors at the Randfontein-based district council‚ west of Johannesburg‚ were among those who did not get their salaries on Thursday last week.