Tshwane Mayor Stands Firm on Salary Increases Amid Service Delivery Disruption

Soukaina Sghir
Soukaina Sghir
3 Min Read

The City of Tshwane remains resolute in its decision to withhold salary increases, even as the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) continues to disrupt service delivery.

Mayor Cilliers Brink revealed that over 120 employees have been dismissed for failing to return to work after being issued an ultimatum. Additionally, approximately 400 workers have had their salaries docked for absenteeism.

Cilliers Brink emphasized that the primary impediment to granting salary increases is the city’s lack of R600 million in funding. He stated, “You can mediate many things and have conversations about many issues, but the one issue you cannot mediate is that we don’t have R600 million to grant in salary increases. The money simply isn’t available.”

The labor court recently granted the city a permanent interdict against striking employees. Service delivery in the municipality has been severely impacted since July when some employees went on strike to compel the city to honor the final year of the three-year wage agreement for 2023/2024.

Mayor Brink highlighted the gravity of the situation, stating, “That is a significant issue, and if there is contempt of court in that case, then Samwu leaders may be jailed. I want to emphasize that this strike is diverting attention from the critical issues in this municipality.”

Brink expressed deep concern about the city’s financial position, emphasizing that the ongoing strike is not the primary issue keeping him up at night. He revealed that the municipality incurred a loss exceeding R2 billion in the sale of electricity last year, making it imperative to address these financial challenges promptly.

The mayor also pointed out that the disruption and attacks within the city extend beyond a labor dispute. He cited attacks on waste removal trucks, which force contractors to withdraw from affected areas, as well as assaults on water and electricity teams, attempted murder cases, and incidents of arson at landfill sites. Brink stressed that the violence and criminal activities have been more disruptive than any formal labor dispute.

Despite the challenges, Brink assured residents that there are contingency plans in place to address waste collection and public cleaning.

Soukaina Sghir

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