Pretoria – Municipal workers affiliated to the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) in Tshwane will tomorrow embark on a march to demand wage and salary increases.
Traffic in the inner-city is expected to come to a standstill as marchers make their way from the old Putco bus depot to Tshwane House, where they will hand over a memorandum of demands.
Metro police spokesperson Senior Superintendent, Isaac Mahamba, said the officers will be deployed to monitor the march and control traffic in all affected streets.
"Motorists are advised to avoid the affected streets and use alternative routes such as Cowie Street, Kgosi Mampuru Street, Bosman Street, Paul Kruger Street ,Thabo Sehume Street and Lilian Ngoyi Street," he said.
The protest will be staged amid fears that municipal workers may not receive an increase after Tshwane Mayor Randall Williams revealed last week that the metro was financially bankrupt.
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Williams also expressed concerns that at least 50% of the city’s budget was used to pay workers’ salaries, suggesting that the move was not sustainable in the long run.
Regarding the city’s financial situation, he said: "As the city stands currently it is insolvent. We got a letter from the National Treasury that the city is insolvent. The current liability of the city amounts to R14 billion and the current assets of the city amounts to R11 billion. So that means the liability exceeds the assets by R3 billion."
Regional Samwu secretary Mpho Tladinyane said workers will hand over memorandums of demand to both the Treasury and the municipality.
"We want the mayor to explain himself about what he actually meant when he said the city is broke. Our members are now worried that they may not receive wage increases," Tladinyane said.
Tladinyane said part of the workers grievances would include the dilapidated and unsafe buildings of the municipality.
They would also complain about the intimidation of shop-stewards by the senior managers in the city.
"We have challenges at the metro police department and we have got issues with the power stations that are not well-resourced," he said.