Simon Mathe, General Secretary, and Papikie Mohale, National Media Officer of SAMWU, write:
The South African Municipal Workersâ€™ Union (SAMWU) as an affiliate of COSATU will be heeding the call by the Trade Union Federation to participate in the upcoming national strike against state capture and corruption on the 27th September 2017.
The national strike has been called following COSATUâ€™s submission of a Section 77 notice to the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) earlier this year. This is a protected strike and as such, no worker will be disciplined or fired for participating in the strike action.
South Africans in rural municipalities are anxious daily as threats by Eskom to interrupt electricity supply are continually made. We believe that the money which has been looted through corrupt activities could have supported these municipalities and help in settling the debt which municipalities have with Eskom, after all municipalities do not exist for profit making but their constitutional mandate of delivering basic services to South Africans.
State capture and corruption have affected service delivery to South Africans and municipal workers alike. Currently there are municipalities which are failing to pay workers on time while third parties such as medical aid, pension, funeral policies and subscriptions are never paid. Municipal workers are of the view that the money could be used to strengthen municipalities as they are in the coalface of service delivery while also ensuring that workers and third parties are paid on time.
History has taught us that every time we submit salary and wage demands, the employer body always pleads poverty. Municipal workers are convinced that money which has been looted from the state could have otherwise been used to better compensate them for the work they do in ensuring that South Africans receive basic and quality services.
SAMWU will therefore be joining and participating in the COSATU National Strike on the 27th September 2017 to take action against state capture and corruption. We will be demanding that without delay, President Zuma should institute a Judicial Commission of Inquiry into allegations of state capture as per the remedial actions presented by the Public Protector.
SAMWU National Office Bearers have been deployed across the country to be part of the programme. We therefore urge municipal workers to come out in their numbers and take a stance against against corruption and state capture. This is a protected strike action and as such no worker will be disciplined as per the stake certificate issued by NEDLAC.