chaos as council workers strike and stage sit-in

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

The mayor of Blouberg in Limpopo, his municipal manager and four directors have been removed from their offices by angry municipal workers for refusing to increase their salaries.

The workers, affiliated to the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu), staged a sit-in in their offices demanding a five percent salary increase.

The rift between management and workers started last year when workers took the management to the bargaining council to register their concern. The council decided in favour of the workers and ordered the municipality to honour their demands.

But management ignored the order, saying it had no budget.

Meetings were arranged to try and settle the dispute but management remained adamant there was no money.

Since the strike began on Monday, work at the municipality has come to a standstill.

Mokgadi Masepola of Indermark in Blouberg said yesterday her family had no electricity or water because of the strike.

"We want the MEC for local government and housing Maite Nkoana Mashabane to intervene," she said

Spokesman for the workers, Dan Mosena, said the strike would continue next week if their demands were not met.

Municipal manager Ike Makhura said the situation was out of hand but the municipality had yesterday made a generous offer to workers and hopes work will return to normal soon.