By Makuwa Felicia
The SAMWU workers marched to Tshwane House in Pretoria this Friday for the third time this week, demanding an increase in their salaries from the municipality.
SAMWU employees were eager to hear what the City Mayor, Cllr Brink, and Tshwane City Manager, Johanne Mettler, had to say about addressing this issue.
One of the SAMWU workers shouted from the crowd in anger and said that the Mayor had gone on National TV to threaten firing them if they didn’t return to work by 11 am this morning and that he claimed not to have money to address them today.
Tshwane Mayor, Cllr Brink, said that the city wants unity with SAMWU and expressed gratitude for the peaceful strike. He stated that he is here to speak the truth, not to say popular things, because he cannot have clinics being closed, buses being stoned, and the community being punished for this. He continued to say that they are not trying to punish the workers, but the city is still struggling to pay Eskom and Randwater. Despite the challenges, they care about their workers and always ensure that salaries are paid on time.
“If there is a significant improvement in the city’s finances, we can reconsider our position. I don’t want to be the mayor who makes promises he can’t keep,” said Cllr Brink.
“I also have staff that are scared and intimidated, and I have to speak for them. I have hope and confidence that this matter can be resolved,” said City Manager Johanne Mettler.
The SAMWU General Secretary, Dumisani Magagula, stated that the National leadership of SAMWU supports SAMWU Tshwane, demanding a 3.5% and 5.4% increase in pay, and an end to corruption. Magagula conveyed to the Executive Mayor that they are not on strike but rather in a meeting, waiting for answers. He emphasized that they won’t allow the Democratic Alliance to turn Tswane into another City of Cape Town, with a clean town and dirty townships.
“We give the Executive Mayor and Tshwane City Manager time to resolve this, and on Monday, we will come back here to Tshwane House for answers,” said General Secretary of SAMWU, Dumisani Magagula.