Story by: Motsieng Mooketsi
Matlosana”Klerksdorp: The people of Matlosana have been left desparate and frustrated by the back and forth negotiations that are taking place between The Municipality, Samwu and Imatu which are not yielding any results of a solution to collect refuse from households, Samwu and Imatu are two trade unions representing employees rights in the Municipality.
Refuse has not been collected for the passed two weeks and The Municipal workers have vowed not to perform their duties until they have been given their PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). The angry employees say they haven’t received their protective clothes since last year 2017. . .further highlighting that every year a budget is drawn for PPE yet they didn’t receive their rightful employee safety equipment.
We visited the Cleansing Department which is the most affected department in the Municipality, on Thursday the 8th of 2018. Our immediate introduction to the employees was followed by the eagerness to put a point across by employees who were evidently angry at The Municipality and it’s officials.
The Cleansing Department employees showed us their work PPE, which was torn and in a safety compromising state which clearly isn’t conducive and environment friendly to carry out job description duties. Others complained that they have been wearing their personal clothes to go to work.
The employees in this department say its not a go slow or a strike it’s a matter of waiting on the municipality to carry out its obligations of giving them their employee collective agreement right which is to give them Good, Quality PPEs. Mr Phori Kwati Gabriel said! “We have told the Municipal Manager that we don’t have PPE to carry out our duties but this has fallen on deaf ears, even our manager we told him but he says there’s no money in the municipality” The frustrated employees say this happens when the municipality has hired tractors which collect refuse in the city and asked why can’t that money can’t be used to buy PPE. Apparently the tractors have also not been paid for the past two months according to one source.
When we went into the trade union’s meeting between Samwu and Imatu and it’s leaders, both unions walked out of the meeting and we were told to switch off the camera, some told us to approach the Municipal Manager as his the one with all the answers.
Street Vendors are some of the most affected by this debacle, tge vendors who sell food on the streets of the CBD, say this affects their businesses as many people are reluctant to buy from them because of all the refuse surrounding their business work stations.
Mr Sekhalo Boy Ntsabo says it would be strategic if the municipality took small companies to assist during such occurances cause will also assist in creating employment.
Miss Ntombiyohlobo Matata who sells fruits and vegetables pleaded with the Municipality and said she prays that the stakeholders in the municipality could find a common ground so that things are sorted out to avoid their businesses being affected by the disputes of the employees.
Source: Maklera Magazine in partnership with Platinum North West TV.