The African National Congress (ANC)in the Eastern Cape has closely followed developments around the strike of municipal workers at Buffalo City Municipality led by the South African Municipal Worker’s Union (SAMWU) over a wage agreement and related issues.
The strike is an inherent right enshrined into the Constitution as part of the constitutional democracy. What is of concern to the citizens of Buffalo City Municipality has been violent acts and acts of sabotage of essential services, trashing and littering of garbage in the streets, worse being setting alight of valuable municipal properties. We know as a matter of fact that SAMWU has distanced itself from such acts, but it puzzles how it becomes a coincidence that such acts which undermines a democratic state happen exactly at the same time that the strike action happens.
These actions undermine the very essence and legitimacy of the demands from the workers, and leadership should do what ever it takes to isolate the criminals who continue hiding behind strike actions to pursue criminal activities which doesn’t enhance the standing of the Union in the eyes of the public and the society. It is our take that the intention of these vandals who act with impunity are part of a counter revolutionary cohort, hiding behind progressive unions working to divide the very organisation and deplete its hegemony.
The ANC urges both SAMWU and the Management of the BCM to exhaustively engage constructively and in the interest of all the role players, workers, the institution called BCM and always have interest of our people – who are the ultimate custodian of that municipality. We believe that both warring parties have the necessary leadership capabilities to resolve the impasse , and we further believe that they have tools in their disposal which can be used to broker the impasse.There are many credible institutions that both parties can agree to use for the purposes of facilitating an agreement.
Workers are an asset to any institution, without a good workforce no institution will ever be capacitated enough to discharge its mission , so is the necessity to treat such a workforce with dignity and remunerate it accordingly.The immediate question posed by the dispute is the need to develop an effective wage policy,including the relationship between the municipality’s budgetary processes and wage negotiations.We once again call for both parties to prioritize finding a lasting solution to the current impasse.
We further call for the law enforcement agencies to ensure that the state property is protected and so are the citizens rights.
We further call for the police to investigate all acts of arson, intimidation and destruction of property and all those involved must be prosecuted.
Once again the Political leadership of Buffalo City Municipality and leadership of SAMWU must provide leadership.
Issued by :
ANC EC Provincial Secretary
Cde Lulama Ngcukayitobi
Mobile No : 0731176194/0636878267
Head of Communications
Mobile No :0849519924 /0848439706