The Ekurhuleni municipality intends to charge all municipal workers and shop
stewards who embarked on illegal activities" during a recent strike,
just four days into the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Municipal spokesperson Zweli Dlamini said on Monday workers were warned
that disciplinary action would be taken against anyone involved in any unlawful
action during the strike in April.
"There was gross misconduct on the part of the striking employees, who
among other things vandalised council property, intimidated and assaulted
fellow colleagues and contractors of the council, and damaged municipal vehicles
including the burning of ambulances in Boksburg," said Dlamini.
He said the municipality had kept a record of all the incidents and after
the strike, the information was consolidated so the culprits could be
identified and charged.
"So far, we have charged workers for intimidation, use of council
vehicles to transport strikers and misconduct, among others. Others are even
facing criminal charges."
Dlamini said seven shop stewards who stormed into a council meeting and
disrupted it, forcing the speaker to postpone the meeting, had already been
The SA Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) warned the council against
instituting any action without prior engagement with the union, but Dlamini
said this had already been done.
'Wasting ratepayer's money'
Some of the issues raised at the time by the shop stewards included the
wasteful expenditure of public funds by senior officials, building of internal
capacity to improve service delivery and strengthening relations between
organised labour and the employer.
"They have been praying that the shop stewards [would] disappear during the Soccer World Cup," said Samwu spokesperson Koena Ramotlou.
Ramotlou said the municipality would be wasting more money in hiring lawyers
to handle disciplinary cases just before July 1, when the new collective
agreement comes into effect.
He said that in this year's budget speech, mayor Ntombi Mekgwe spoke about
cutting costs and tightening the finances.
"This approach of giving cases to lawyers means that they are instead
adamant about wasting ratepayer's money," charged Ramotlou.
However, Dlamini said the municipality was within its rights to use external
lawyers as per the existing disciplinary procedure collective agreement.
He said the new collective agreement stated that "any disciplinary
steps that commenced prior to the effective date shall be regulated by the
terms of the then existing disciplinary code".
"Samwu's allegations are baseless and
without any substance. The municipality will never tolerate any act of
misconduct and as such will continue to discipline workers involved in