About 2 000 workers at the Mbombela 2010 Fifa World Cup stadium are today entering into their seventh day of an illegal strike.
The workers downed tools on Friday last week after demanding money they claimed was promised by Mbombela Municipality's executive mayor Lassy Chiwayo on Ligwalagwala FM.
According to National Union of Mineworkers, the workers, who heard Chiwayo making the alleged promise, had spread it among colleagues.
They then approached management, saying the mayor had promised that there was a lot of money they would be paid at the end of the contract to build the stadium.
The workers allegedly demanded R70 000 each but the management refused and instead told them they would only get R1 000 each as an outstanding bonus and a pro rata amount of 16 days.
They would also get training from the Sectoral Training Authority. They were told that all these would take place at the end of the contract this year.
"Knowing that the strike is illegal we had to try and engage the strikers and the management," said NUM national spokesman Lesiba Seshoka
The management allegedly gave the workers an ultimatum to return to work or be fired.
Differ Mogale, the Mpumalanga 2010 coordinator, denied that Chiwayo ever made the promise on the radio.
"The problem with these guys is that they lie. On Monday they said it was me who made the promise on the radio but they had initially accused the executive mayor," said Mogale yesterday.
He said a worker identified only as Victor was the one who was misleading the others.
Although Mogale confirmed that the strike was affecting the construction of the stadium, he was confident that it will be ready for the world cup games.
Chiwayo could not be reached for comment.
The stadium construction management was also not available for comment.
Mbombela Stadium is a 44 000-seat stadium under construction as one of the 10 venues for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.