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By Dimakatso Modipa

City of Tshwane workers who have been dismissed toyi- toyi outside Tshwane House demand their job back photo by Dimakatso Modipa

City of Tshwane workers who have been fired from their jobs for taking part in an illegal strike toyi-toyied outside Tshwane House, the headquarters of the City of Tshwane Municipality on Monday morning.

Speaking on behalf of the dismissed workers, Isaac Ndalamo told Tshwane Talks that they were dismissed by the City of Tshwane for taking part in a so- called unprotected strike.

“We were dismissed unfairly last year in July over allegations that we took part in an unprotected strike in 2023, but we were never accorded a disciplinary hearing,” asserted Ndalamo.

He said their dismissal is related to a stand-off that ensued between workers and the City of Tshwane regarding annual salary increases in 2023

“When we ask the employer (City of Tshwane) to put evidence on the table regarding our alleged participation in the so-called illegal strike, the Municipality doesn’t want to engage us in a disciplinary hearing,” he said.

“It is our contention that if indeed we had participated in an unlawful strike, then police would have arrested us,” lamented Ndalamo.

“We reject the Labour Court process as initiated by the City of Tshwane in this matter because this is a ploy to delay our reinstatement to our jobs,” he said.

“The DA says residents must vote for it, yet its mayor is busy dismissing workers,” said Ndalamo.

“We are saying to Mayor Cilliers Brink and his subordinates that we want our jobs back and are not going to entertain the Labour Court process that they have initiated,” he said.

“Let them just put evidence on the table and prove what it is that we have done,” he said.

Ndalamo said they were picketing and toyi-toying to stand up for their rights as workers.

He pointed out that the Municipality had originally dismissed 122 workers and subsequently reinstated 81of them (dismissed workers), leaving behind 41 of them under dismissal.

“We want the employer to disclose as to what criteria was used to reinstate some workers while leaving others out,” he said.

“The employer is hiding a report and reasons concerning the reinstatement and continued dismissal of its workers,” said Ndalamo.

“The employer claims that we are criminals, but if we were criminals why have we not been arrested as yet,” fumed Ndalamo.

He said they as workers didn’t do any wrong, and said they were dismissed without pay and haven’t received any salaries from the Municipality since July last year.

Ndalamo revealed that the City of Tshwane hasn’t been paying UIF contributions to the Labour Department and workers were not aware of this.

“We only got to know about the Municipality’s failure to pay UIF contributions when we approached the Labour Department to claim our dues as dismissed workers,” he said.

He said it is a pity that workers presently employed by the City of Tshwane are not aware that the Municipality has not been contributing anything to the UIF for a period of two years now.

According to Ndalamo, the City of Tshwane owes SARS 2,6 billion rand and on top of that it also owes Rand Water millions of rand “Brink, do the right thing and reinstate dismissed workers and stop telling lies in the media that you have reinstated dismissed workers, because you have not reinstated all workers, what about the 41 workers who still remain dismissed,” said Ndalamo.

Ndalamo said they haven’t yet received a notice regarding the date of the commencement of their case in the Labour Court as initiated by the City of Tshwane.

“Labour Court processes take a long time, sometimes up to two or three years before a case can be heard in court,” lamented Ndalamo.

“What is going to happen to us because we have been without salaries since July last year and there are families and many people who depend on us for their livelihood,” griped Ndalamo.

“Brink looks at matters from a white man’s perspective and interests, and does not care about us poor workers at grassroots level,” said an irate Ndalamo.

Ndalamo added that the issue of annual salaries hasn’t been resolved as yet, and that the Municipality is engaged in fraudulent activities regarding the issue of handing out contracts to the private sector to acquire ownership of power stations in Tshwane.

In response to the dismissed workers’ grievances, the City of Tshwane spokesperson Lindela Mashigo said: “The workers were dismissed on the grounds that they took part in a prolonged illegal and unprotected strike which resulted in some facilities a d assets being vandalised.

Mashigo further said that the matter of the dismissed workers complaining about not being afforded a chance to appeal their dismissal is being ventilated on the Labour Court.

“The Labour Court’s decision will give direction as to whether they will be paid for services they rendered while still in the employ of the City of Tshwane.”

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