Samwu to embark on nationwide strike

The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) on Wednesday announced its members would go on a nationwide strike in May.

Spokesperson for Samwu Tahir Sema said they decided to embark on the strike due to “a number of issues nationally, affecting the union and its membership”.

The strike would start in the Free State on May 10 and Gauteng May 11 as they were “hot spot provinces”. National action was planned for May 13 and then it would spread to the North West on May 27 and Mpumalanga on May 31.

In a statement he said the union confirmed its support for the African National Congress in the upcoming local government elections.

“The programme of action below is not in any way intended to disrupt the upcoming local government elections and will ensure we respect citizen’s rights to participate in the elections.”

He said the protest would continue until the problems raised were resolved.

During the strike members planned to march and deliver memorandums to Gauteng provincial minister for cooperative governance and traditional affairs, the South African Local Government Association, Free State premier, the ministers of labour, public enterprises and justice and the presidency.

Problems raised by Samwu included “attacks” on workers and union leaders as well as “political dismissals”, the privatisation of public services and assets, and the transfer of services from local to provincial government.

The union wants the president not to sign the Municipal Systems Amendment Bill into law, and remove provincial government from the Constitution. It wants limitations on workers’ rights to strike removed from statutes, an end to labour brokers and corruption and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Sicelo Shiceka dismissed, if the allegations against him were true. It also raised its concerns about police brutality.

“These mass actions will be used to name and shame the beneficiaries of corruption within the public sector and the private sector.” — Sapa

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