The trashing of streets in Grahamstown, East London, Port Elizabeth and smaller towns such as Bedford and Komga during yesterday’s (subs: mon, 12 Apr) municipal strike is unacceptable.

 I will be asking the MEC for Local Government an official parliamentary question as to whether these municipalities will hold the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) liable to pay the costs for the clean-up and damage caused by their members. While the constitution recognizes the right to strike it must be done in a climate of orderliness and decent behaviour.

While Samwu has a very valid grievance that senior management in municipalities are currently paying themselves exorbitant salaries, the union is blackmailing the public by stating that service delivery will improve only if they get their grievances attended to. This type of work ethic is unacceptable and it is hoped that Samwu will repudiate these comments and endorse the principle that all municipal employees be employed on a “fit for purpose” basis where the best person is employed to do the work.

It would appear that despite Samwu’s best intentions this strike action is a wet squib as the participants of the strike are far lower than originally anticipated.

It is hoped that with proper grievance channels in place in municipalities and through the South African Local Government Association (Salga), that the strike will terminate immediately and that all municipal workers will go back to work.

For further information, please contact Dacre Haddon MPL on 079 694 3788