Municipal offices reopen

Temporary metro workers downed tools last week demanding better wages and permanent job placements.

Municipal offices reopened for business on Tuesday amid continued protest action by temporary municipal workers.

Hundreds of them have been protesting in the city for permanent jobs since last Monday.

ALSO READ: Officials taken hostage by metro workers

On Tuesday morning, Tshwane metro police were deployed to the municipality offices to ensure protesters were not intimidating other employees.

Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga said unlawful protesters would be dealt with harshly.

“Unlawful victimisation, public violence, and unprotected and interdicted protest action by a minority of disgruntled Samwu affiliated employees continues to rear its ugly head in the Tshwane metro,” said Msimanga.

He said the unlawful conduct would not be tolerated.

“We will ensure the full might of the law is exerted upon those who continue to make the metro ungovernable,” the mayor said.

“They have not succeeded thus far and they will not succeed in future.”

He said his administration would continue to make progress despite this protest action.

Two city officials were held hostage by protesters last Tuesday in an attempt to force the metro to give them permanent contracts.

ALSO READ: NEWSFLASH: Three buses torched during protest

Msimanga said while the protesters’ grievances still had to be investigated, it was unacceptable for them to conduct protest action at the expense of the millions of people who need services.

He said this sort of conduct not only undermined their plight but the provision of services they are contractually and legally bound to provide.

“While we recognise the serious nature of the grievances, we have to state that this unruly conduct cannot continue unabated and cannot become the norm,” he said.

“Aggrieved personnel should make use of the correct dispute resolution avenues at all times regardless of the sensitivity of the dispute.”

In the past two weeks, the metro has experienced two disruptive and unlawful protests in Regions 3 and 4, in part because employees allege they are being racially prejudiced.

“This is a separate matter that is being duly investigated and potential action will ensue once investigative proceedings have been concluded in due course,” said Msimanga.

ALSO READ: Shoshanguve residents rising up to the Wonderpark municipality for better roads

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David Matsena

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