EC Premier must intervene in Baviaans pay dispute – Trollip

BY CHARL BOSCH - APRIL 6, 2016

Democratic Alliance (DA) Eastern Cape leader, and Nelson Mandela Bay Mayoral candidate Athol Trollip, has slammed the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs for failing in its attempts to resolve the pay crisis in the troubled Baviaans Local Municipality.

Last month, municipal workers from the South Africa Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) went on strike over pay parity following the inclusion of Rietbron to the area. The protest turned ugly not long after when Mayor Ewald Loock was struck over the head with a knobkierie and his vehicle torched as he was trying to resolve the matter.

Speaking in a statement, Trollip said the protest, which reportedly flared up again on Wednesday, could not be expected to fall under the sole mandate of the municipality, adding that he would raise the matter with Eastern Cape Premier Phumulo Masualle.

“The province cannot simply march in, march out and dump the problem on the local municipality when it is of their making,” Trollip said.

“The MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Fikile Xasa visited Baviaans previously and said he wouldn’t intervene. This (issue) needs the intervention of the Sarah Baartman District Municipality, the Department of Cooperative Governance and the provincial government”.

“I have therefore written to the Premier to ask him to advise me what step he will be taking [as] the restarted strike is a consequence of the his government’s premature and overreaching intervention”.