Tshwane municipality strike comes to an end

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By Dimakatso Modipa

Municipality workers protesting demand wage increase in July
Municipality workers protesting demand wage increase in July

The longest Tshwane municipal workers’ strike came to an end on Friday with services expected to be back in full operation.

City of Tshwane staff members affiliated to the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) downed tools in July this year over wages increase. The strike has caused major disruptions to service delivery in the metro.

The strike turned violent when municipal infrastructure and vehicles were burnt, while employees who tried to report for duty were intimidated.

During the unlawfully and unprotected there were lots of demonstration, more than 100 contractors were terminated, and some workers were arrested.

“Tshwane is delighted to announce that all municipal services are operational and that the crippling unlawful and unprotected strike which lasted for a little over three months, is finally over,” spokesperson of City of Tshwane Selby Bokaba said.

He said all the employees are back at work executing their duties. Basic service delivery has returned to normal, and most backlogs have been cleared.

Services such as waste collection, electricity and water outages, including fixing leaks, which were severely impacted by the strike action have gradually returned to normality.

The Tshwane Bus Services (TBS), whose operations ground to a halt during the strike, due to intimidation directed towards the non-striking bus drivers, are back to full capacity.

The Customer Care Walk-in-Centre’s and clinics have also resumed full services and are functioning optimally.

The City Manager Johann Mettler has expressed relief about the end of the strike.

“We’re relieved that the strike which was marred by violence, intimidation and destruction of municipal property is finally over and services have resumed in earnest”.

“We had put in place a catch-up plan which was executed with distinction.

The city is gradually rediscovering its mojo and is living its motto of ‘Igniting Excellence’. We are building a city that works for its entire people”, Mettler enthused.

Tshwane and the labour unions IMATU and SAMWU are currently engaged in discussions over the salary increase dispute facilitated by CCMA.

The discussions are progressing well. The city wishes to apologies to its residents and customers for the inconvenience caused during the unprecedented and violent strike.

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