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The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) in the Mafika Mshengu Region, has learnt with great anger and agitation the decision by the Mooi Mpofana Local Municipality to not comply with the ruling of the South African Local Government Bargaining Council (SALGBC) which ruled in favour of an employee, Mr Bongane Ngubane. Instead of implementing the reinstatement award, municipal management turned away Mr Ngubane who was returning to work as per the ruling of the SALGBC.
On the 9th of May 2022, the SALGBC ordered the reinstatement of Mr Ngubane who was unfairly dismissed by the municipality in March 2021. This was after SAMWU had referred the matter to the SALGBC as we were convinced that the charges preferred against Mr. Ngubane and the subsequent disciplinary hearing were frivolous and politically motivated.
SAMWU, in the interest of its member, Mr Ngubane brought the fight to the Mooi Mpofana Local Municipality in the several hearings held under the auspices of the SALGBC which ordered his reinstatement on the terms and conditions no less favourable than those he enjoyed prior to his dismissal on the 8th of March 2021.
On Wednesday 11th May 2022, Mr Ngubane reported to work as per the SALGBC award. Instead of being welcomed back, the employer turned him away in clear violation of the SALGBC award. As SAMWU we are of the view that the decision by the employer is provocative to workers and an attempt by the municipality to define itself outside of the decisions and rulings of the SALGBC.
We, therefore, call on the Mooi Mpofana Local Municipality to comply with the order of the SALGBC wherein they failed to justify their dismissal of the worker and were punished for acting outside of the law. The municipality cannot spend resources on defending the indefensible in the Bargaining Council and when they lose, they behave as though rulings of the Bargaining Council are not binding to them.
If the municipality continues to refuse Mr Ngubane access to his workplace, workers will be left with no option but to personally accompany Mr Ngubane to his workstation in their numbers. Workers at the municipality are tired of the victimisation of workers by municipal officials who are operating on borrowed authority to pursue their political ambitions and to push the political agenda of their handlers.
Issued by SAMWU Mafika Mshengu Region