Ricochet News

Court interdict ends SAMWU-led strike at Kouga Local Municipality

MARCH 8, 2017
Court interdict ends SAMWU-led strike at Kouga Local Municipality

The Labour Court in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday granted an order against the striking Kouga Local Municipality workers, who are affiliated with the South African Municipal Workers' Union (SAMWU) - ending the strike began on Monday and was marred by violent scenes.

The strikers vandalized municipal property and trashed the main roads in both Jeffreys Bay and Hankey. The strikers also threw trash and raw sewage on the streets of Jeffreys Bay and around the Municipal building in Da Gama road, on both Monday and Tuesday.

“The Court has interdicted the members of SAMWU from organising and participating in any unprotected strike action currently embarked upon,” said Kouga Local Municipality Executive Mayor, Elza Van Lingen.

“It furthermore interdicts SAMWU members from destroying or damaging property belonging to the Kouga Municipality as well as prohibits them from intimidating non striking employees of the Municipality.”

The Municipality said that its office in Jeffreys Bay is now open to the public and the roads in the CBD are open to traffic. The office was closed on Mondayafter the strike turned violent.

The Mayoral Committee of the Kouga Council was expected to meet on Wednesday afternoon to determine the way forward.

Charges have been laid with the South African Police due to Council property being destroyed during the strike.

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.