ANC must intervene in the Free State before it is too late
The current atmosphere in the Free State province is marred by the following matters that need urgent attention, these issues also have a potential of ruining our relationship with the ruling party the African National Congress (ANC) and our alliance partners. The issues are as follows;
- Blatant corruption in almost all Municipalities in the Province, ranging from awarding fraudulent tenders, fruitless expenditures, paying ghost employees, nepotism, manipulating the organisational structures to benefit individuals, friends and families. The Auditor General's reports reflect all of the above and mention by name Ngwathe, Nala and Lejweleputswa Municipalities.
- The victimisation and silencing of the South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) by charging shopstewards and suspending or threatening them with suspensions. An example of this would be the case of the Nwathe Shopstewards who currently have to answer to some 13 compounded charges, besides having won an interdict against the Municipality for unlawful deductions and the South African Local Government Bargaining Council dispute against Casualisation.
- Employers also disregard the arbitration awards and apply for reviewal unnecessarily. (e.g. Cde Zeka of Moqhaka, Cde N Montsitsi of Moqhaka Municipality, Refusal to pay retrospective bonus and benefits to Traffic Officers despite an award, Masooane and others of Ngwathe, Riet and others of Kopanong).
- The new trend where municipalities are offering negotiable salaries for employees who are not section 56 employees, violating the MSA and the Bargaining agreements on salary and wages of municipal employees. (e.g. Mangaung, Moqhaka and Ngwathe Municipalities where a number of new employments for 2010 and 2011 are on negotiated salaries or zero fixed contracts - the MEC task team has found this tendency to be illegal, but these Municipalities are still continuing with the practice).
- The mismanagement and corruption by management in some of the Municipalities within the province. Municipalities deduct premiums and do not pay various schemes responsible for workers Provident Fund, Medical Aid, SAMWU Membership, Insurances and other benefits. This results in members struggling to claim death benefits, pension benefits, medical fees etc.
- We also note the spread of corrupt activities encapsulated in the undesirable privatisation and outsourcing of municipal services that is undertaken by municipalities, despite the failures and ineffectiveness of privatisation. These include:
- Office cleaning services in Metsimaholo and Fezile Dabi District Municipality
- Waste removal in Mangaung.
- Hiring of vehicles, heavy machinery and small equipment in Metsimaholo Municipality, Ngwathe Municipality, Moqhaka Municipality,
- Meter reading in Moqhaka Municipality outsourced to a company in Cape Town.
- Security Services in Moqhaka Municipality, Metsimaholo Municipality, Fezile Dabi District Municipality. The list is endless.
- Municipalities are casualising employees who deliver services under the guise of the extended public works programme, while the employees are actually employed by municipalities and not remunerated in terms of the prevailing Collective Agreements in Local Government.
We have made efforts in vain to meet the leadership of the ANC around these issues, they have not afforded us the opportunity to meet and discuss these issues.
We hereby make a call to the leadership of the ANC in the Province to meet with Union leadership, to resolve these issues before it makes Municipalities ungovernable.
Statement issued by SAMWU's Free State Provincial Secretary Mokone Miya, February 20 2012
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