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SACP Buffalo City Municipality welcomes strike deal, calls for MM's head

Dec 11, 2018
SACP Buffalo City Municipality welcomes strike deal, calls for MM's head

The South African Communist Party (SACP) in the Buffalo City Municipality over the weekend welcomed the resolution of a municipal workers' strike led by the South African Municipal Worker's Union (SAMWU).

The SCAP Buffalo City Municipality convened its ordinary District Executive Committee (DEC) meeting on Sunday at the Dalukukhanya Primary School in Mdantsane, East London. 

"The meeting congratulated the Young Communist League of South Africa (YCLSA) for having convened a successful Fifth National Congress. We wish the newly elected leadership well in execution of its revolutionary tasks," said Luntu Sokutu, SACP District Spokesperson.

On deal between Buffalo City Municipality and SAMWU aligned employees

"The SACP welcomes the resolution of the matter and returning of law and order, as the things were slowly getting out of hand. As the SACP, we condemn the destruction of property and alleged closure of grave-sites over the period as anti-theses of our revolution and serve to undermine genuine demands of workers," said Sokutu.

"We call upon workers to always keep in mind that the support of the entire community in their struggles is critical and the community must not be made to pay the price as result of administrators like the City Manager. We support the decision of workers to clean the city and we will call upon our members to join them.

"We are of the firm view that the situation would have been avoided, if there was capable administrative leadership in the institution. It is in this context that the SACP calls for the immediate removal of the BCMM City Manager for his gross dereliction of duty that has cost the municipality more than R60 million."

Sokutu said that in his statement, BCMM Executive Mayor, Xola Pakati, regarding progress in dealing with the strike stated that the “overall the agreement will cost the municipality an amount of around R200 Million and some of the costs will be recurring in the subsequent financial years.”

"As the SACP we are extremely concerned by the silence of the Mayor and the Council on actions that will be taken against the City Manager for failing to implement collective agreements and Council resolutions that has led to the municipality spending millions which were not budgeted for, an act which we view as a gross dereliction of duty," he added.

"We know for a fact that had it been an ordinary worker that had been responsible for an act that led to the municipality having to pay about R200 million, serious action would be taken, including dismissal. However, because it is the senior manager of the institution, little or no action will be taken against him."

Sokutu said that the lack of consequence management in the public service is a well-known contributing factor for the poor performance, slow pace of service delivery and corruption levels in the Eastern Cape.

SACP wants Buffalo City Municipality Municipal Manager fired

"It is for this reason that the SACP calls for the City Council to relieve the City Manager from his duties. The people of the metro have suffered dearly over the past weeks as a result of the stalemate resulting from the City Manager’s failure to do his job.

"It is also the case that Eastern Cape Government Head Offices in the metro had to be closed down for most of the period during the stalemate as result of the cuts to the water and electricity supply to the buildings," he added.

"This means that the failure of the City Manager to do his job not only affected citizens of the metro but the entire Province as well. 

"We believe the removal of the City Manager will be necessary for preventing future incidents of this nature to occur again, the failure to implement decisions that were taken two years back and the attitude displayed by the City manager during the stand-off leaves with no confidence that even the current reached agreement will be implemented."

Sokutu said that the SACP salutes organised labour in the municipality as led by SAMWU for placing the interests of the workers above any other prevailing interests.

"We particularly commend organised labour for securing the victory over the absorption of the 365 temporary employees with effect from December 2018. It is through their actions that 365 employees will now be guaranteed job security and access to benefits which are enjoyed by other workers of the municipality," he also said.

"The DEC meeting reaffirmed our call for the municipality to end outsourcing of critical services in the metro."

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