South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) members marched to the offices of City of Cape Town Mayor Helen Zille on Friday (24/04/2009), demanding an end to privatisation and an increase in permanent employment.
About 300 Samwu members marched along Kaizergracht Street and on to the civic centre in Old Marine Drive, where the city administration is housed.
The workers, closely monitored by about 30 police cars, carried placards which read: “We are demanding full time jobs.”
When the march reached the civic centre, a memorandum was handed to mayoral committee member Dan Plato.
Reading from the memorandum, Samwu Cape Metro branch secretary Mike Khumalo demanded that workers with 10 years or more of experience be employed permanently.
Khumalo said the City should stop the privatisation of municipal services. Services that were privatised should be delivered by municipal employees, he said.
“We note that the DA led administration has done nothing to improve the working conditions of municipal workers,” he said.
Samwu Cape Metro deputy secretary Mzoxolo Miselo accused Zille of “old apartheid style management tactics”.
“Under your (Zille) regime we have witnessed the erosion of municipal jobs in favour of private companies,” Miselo said.
In accepting the memorandum, Plato said he would table the grievances for negotiation before responding to the demands.
City of Cape Town spokesperson Kylie Hatton noted that the city had recorded 500 members of staff absent without authority, which amounted to 2,24% of the workforce. Not all of those absent could be assumed to have participated in the Samwu action.
Hatton said there had been “isolated incidents” of intimidation at municipal premises in the Nyanga, Klipfontein and Brown’s Farm area of Philippi.
The most serious incident had taken place at the Brown’s Farm Depot, where a municipal worker had been injured, workers intimidated and municipal property damaged. An office had been damaged by fire, a window broken, files destroyed and telephone and network cables cut.
Hatton said an incident of intimidation had also taken place after the march.
“The City strongly condemns this action and will take disciplinary procedures against the individuals involved.” – West Cape News