Tshwane moves to dismiss 41 striking workers as it confirms 15 arrests

City of Tshwane workers affiliated to Samwu protest at the city’s headquarters. File photo.
City of Tshwane workers affiliated to Samwu protest at the city’s headquarters. File photo.
Image: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

The City of Tshwane has issued notices of its intention to dismiss to 41 striking employees linked to Samwu as it confirmed 15 employees had been arrested for their involvement in the protest.

South African Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) members have been on strike since last week over the nonpayment of salary increases by the city.

Last Thursday, the city was ordered by the South African Local Government Bargaining Council (SALGBC) to increase its employees' salaries by 5.4% for the year beginning July 1, within 10 days. 

A day later, the city was granted an interim interdict by the labour court declaring the strike “unlawful and unprotected” and ordering workers to call it off. 

On Wednesday, the city threatened to dismiss workers who refused to end the strike and return to work and followed through with this on Thursday, confirming notices had been sent out to protesting workers.

The city also confirmed it would approach the labour court for an urgent contempt of court order against the protesters.

“The city manager has issued multiple ultimatums to the striking employees to return to work and to desist from intimidating their non-striking colleagues. The striking employees have disregarded the court order and therefore are guilty of contempt of court, hence the city has resolved to approach the labour court again today [Thursday] for the enforcement of the interim interdict, which will empower the police to arrest the striking employees and the Samwu leadership.

“Residents of Tshwane cannot be held to ransom by striking employees who continue to prevent their colleagues from performing the duties for which they get paid. Most employees report for duty but are being prevented, intimidated and victimised by their striking colleagues from executing their duties.”

The city confirmed it had put in place “recovery plans to address the backlog” as a result of the strike. 

“Turnaround times for attending to interruptions will be delayed due to intimidation of employees. A total of 15 employees have been arrested so far and charged with public violence and face internal charges as well.”


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