Locked in bosses are 'not safe yet'

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

The four managers who were locked in their offices by angry workers on Monday over pension fund payments at the Greater Giyani municipality in Limpopo have been advised to stay away until the situation calms down.

Municipal manager Silence Makhubele said yesterday that management had decided to allow the officials to stay away from work because they were traumatised by the incident.

The four were locked in the building by workers for more than six hours. Makhubele said the managers had been advised to stay at home until the situation at the municipality becomes normal.

Makhubele further said they had asked police to be on guard for any possible outbreak of violence while the municipality and workers were negotiating.

The situation at the municipality got out of hand when hundreds of SA Municipal Workers Union members went on the rampage and locked the four managers inside their offices.

This was after negotiations between Samwu and the management to pay workers their pension funds after they had been transferred from the local municipality to the Greater Giyani municipality had failed. .

The workers demanded that the municipality keeps its promise to pay workers their long-service money on October 31. The workers accused the management of having reneged on the agreement.

The workers locked the doors and gates of the municipality, leaving the four without water and food for six hours. Makhubele and mayor Angie Ramaipadi had to hide when the workers became violent.

Samwu chairman Thomas Makondo said they went on a strike after management failed to honour their promise.

Makhubele said the money the workers demanded had not been budgeted for. "We have taken a resolution to pay them the money after the budget adjustment, which could be in December," he said.