MEC for Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs, Mmoloki Cwaile has met with the leaders of COSATU and SAMWU on Friday the 15th to discuss the challenges in municipalities.
The meeting discussed issues which include failure by some municipalities to pay third parties, non-payment of COVID-19 danger allowance, victimization and dismissal of union members and high rate of vacant posts, especially those of senior managers.
MEC Cwaile acknowledged that union members are in most cases, victimized when they raise pertinent issues in the workplace. He cautioned municipal workers against getting involved in council politics "That is not your space. Officials must do their work and leave politics to councillors".
He said most municipalities find themselves in dire financial situation because of mismanagement, non-compliance to policies and lack of consequence management. "Where officials have failed to comply with applicable legislation, appropriate steps must be taken against such officials even if it means reporting such cases to the law enforcement agencies.
With regard to payment of danger allowance, MEC Cwaile said SALGA's position is that there is no collective agreement, but said municipalities had the latitude of deciding on type of work that can be categorized as "dangerous" for purpose of payment of allowances.
He cited Naledi local municipality as one of the few municipalities which has been able to pay third parties dating as far back as four years. He made a commitment to hold regular engagements with the union members (extended to municipalities) on a regular basis, in order to ensure a smooth running of municipalities, but also urged union members to follow procedures when exposing cases of corruption in municipalities and government departments rather than embarking on protests.