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SAMWU angered by Mass Dismissal of Workers Attempts by Ratlou Municipality

2 November 2018

The South African Municipal Workers' Union (SAMWU) has learnt with great anger and disgust attempts by the Ratlou Municipality in the North West to dismiss workers enmass.

32 workers were employed by the municipality on fixed term contracts. However because the municipality saw fit that their contributions to service delivery were required on a permanent basis, their contracts of employment were converted as such.

The new administration which took over after the 2016 Local Government elections perceived these workers to be an extension of the previous administration hence they approached the Labour Court to review the conversion of the workers' contracts to employment from fixed term to permanent.

We cannot sit back and relax when workers are being purged in the name of cleansing any sign of the previous administration and wanting to create space for their stooges.

Of great concern to us is that the Mayor of the Ratlou Municipality is currently the Deputy Chairperson of the South African Communist Party (SACP) in The North West Province. One would think that ideologically and realistically , the "vanguard of the working class" would not stand idle when workers' livelihoods are threatened yet in this case it is the Mayor who is in the forefront of wanting to ensure that these workers add to the high unemployment numbers in the country.

These attempts by the Mayor and his administration are nothing but moves by careerists who seek to disregard sound labour relations management within the workplace.

We therefore call on the SACP to self introspect on the decision by their Deputy Chairperson to literally relegate workers to hunger, starvation and poverty. We strongly believe that no important political and administrative decision can be taken without union or federation engagement.

We further call on the municipality to desist from directly attacking workers, this action needs to stop now otherwise workers will be left with no option but to take matters into their own hands. It remains our position that process should be halted, we are open to complex and diversified kind of engagement if needs be other than provocations by fully fledged oligarchs who want to reverse our gains.

We also cannot allow a situation wherein service delivery is compromised by the employer all because they are on a crusade of purging workers. Community members cannot be left to suffer because the Mayor does not want certain people working in the municipality.

Issued by SAMWU North West Province

Vincent Diphoko
SAMWU Provincial Secretary
083 580 8815


Vanguard Mokwena
SAMWU Deputy Provincial Secretary
073 363 3155