THE director of the Oasis group of lodges yesterday blamed the corrupt practices of government officials for the collapse of his business, which has resulted in the shedding of jobs.
At least 58 workers at the Dalmada-based lodge in Polokwane, who had embarked on a sit-in after not being paid their salaries, were yesterday served with letters of dismissal.
They were accused of embarking on illegal action.
The workers resolved to stage the sit-in after they were allegedly told they would not get their salaries because there was no money to pay them.
When Sowetan visited them yesterday they were still waiting outside the premises to be paid for the days they had worked.
But company director Abdul Essack said yesterday that government officials were to blame for his business' collapse.
He said he had explained his situation to the employees and also pleaded with them to be patient while he was "sorting out things".
Essack confirmed that there was no money since his company's sales had dropped dramatically.
"The biggest problem derives from government officials we do business with," Essack said.
He claimed that 90percent of the government officials had wanted to be "bribed" before giving him business.
"The officials wanted me to pay them to give me business," he claimed. "But I could not pay since I was running at a loss."
He said it was becoming too difficult for him to operate the business because the bulk of the money went into salaries and there was no profit.
"For instance, in January I had a turnover of R340000 and the salaries of my employees amounted to R360000," he explained.
He pointed out that he had to split the employees' salaries in half last month because there was no money in the bank.
But the workers would have none of it.
Workers' representative Thabitha Matlebjane, pictured , said yesterday they felt betrayed by a company they had worked for for years.
"We will fight for justice on this matter because we were unfairly dismissed," she said.