On Friday, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) delivered a stern message to Tshwane mayor Cilliers Brink: improve your performance or step down. This message was delivered on International Day of Decent Work, a day dedicated to promoting decent work worldwide. Cosatu marched to Tshwane House in Pretoria to deliver a memorandum to Brink, demanding payment of an increase owed to workers and the immediate reinstatement of 123 dismissed municipal workers.

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The Dismissal of Municipal Workers and Wage Disputes

The city of Tshwane had dismissed the workers for participating in an ongoing unprotected wage strike, which was in violation of a court order to end the protests. Cosatu president Zingiswa Losi called for the reinstatement of these workers and demanded that the owed increase be paid. Losi also called for Brink’s resignation, stating, “Brink, if you can’t rule, leave the office. If you cannot govern this municipality resign with immediate effect.”

The Response from Tshwane’s Administration

In response to Cosatu’s demands, city manager Johann Mettler was sent to receive the memorandum on behalf of Mayor Brink. However, Mettler left due to safety concerns. The mayor’s spokesperson, Sipho Stuurman, stated that Brink was ready to accept the memorandum at midday as prearranged but had to leave for another prearranged engagement as the marchers had not yet arrived at about 1.20pm.

Stuurman also stated that Tshwane is taking the determination of the SA Local Government Bargaining Council, that Tshwane must pay R600m in salary increases, on review in the Labour Appeals Court. He condemned the violence and criminality that have accompanied the strike over salary increases and called on Cosatu to join them in condemning all acts of criminality directed against the municipality and the residents of the capital city.

Meanwhile, Cosatu has denied that Mettler’s life was ever in danger and argued that he left the marchers’ site out of a desire to tarnish their peaceful protest action.

By Shamiso Miracle

Shamiso Miracle completed her degree in journalism and media studies at the University of Zimbabwe before honing her skills at Savanna News. She then went on to work at iHarare News, becoming a voice for everyday SA citizens who wanted to share their stories. When she's not writing news that entertains and inspires ,Shamiso is an avid reader and a wellness bunny.

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