Ricochet News

Violent SAMWU-led strike continues in Kouga Local Municipality

MARCH 7, 2017
Violent SAMWU-led strike continues in Kouga Local Municipality

A strike by Kouga Local Municipality staff, who are affiliated with the South African Municipal Workers' Union (SAMWU), continued into a second day  on Tuesday with more damage to municipal offices reported.

On Monday, the Kouga Local Municipality had to close its Jeffreys Bay offices after the strike turned violent.

According to the municipality, there has been further damage to Council property, including the entrance gate to the Municipal building in Jeffreys Bay being broken open and human faeces being thrown onto a building in Humansdorp.

“We were advised by the South African Police Service to send our staff home as there was concern for their safety,” said Kouga Local Municipality Executive Mayor, Elza Van Lingen.

“The strikers once again trashed the CBD in Jeffreys Bay and we have received reports that the streets in Hankey have also seen trashed.”

In a terse stand-off, the South African Police told the strikers to disperse in Jeffreys Bay, an instruction that was eventually complied with.

“We have requested our Municipal Manager, Mr Sidney Fadi, to engage with Council’s lawyers to ensure we follow the correct legal processes when dealing with the striking workers,” said Van Lingen.

“I would like to thank all the business owners in the CBD for helping in cleaning the streets that have been trashed by the strikers. Your help is highly appreciated."

The municipality said that the workers' grievance revolves around a number of Expanded Public Work Program (EPWP) workers, whose temporary contracts ended on 28 February and were not renewed.

"As a Municipality we believe we acted lawfully in ending the contracts and the workers as well as Council were timeously informed on the decision,” said van Lingen.

Image by Robbie Irlam via Facebook