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DA calls for Pakati's head over deal that ended Buffalo City Municipality strike

Dec 7, 2018
DA calls for Pakati's head over deal that ended Buffalo City Municipality strike

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Buffalo City Municipality on Friday said that it will now table a motion of no confidence against Executive Mayor, Xola Pakati, accusing him and the Metro's City Manager of giving in to "blackmail" by the South African Municipal Worker's Union (SAMWU).

Among the concessions made by the Metro is a R10 000 tax-free “payoff” to the striking workers; an agreement that the “no work, no pay” rule be suspended, despite the strike being illegal; and complete capitulation on all the other demands made by SAMWU at the start of the strike, the party said.

"Buffalo City Mayor, Xola Pakati, estimated yesterday that this would cost the City R200 million," described Kevin Mileham MP - DA EC Premier Campaign Spokesperson on Basic Services.

"To date, not one person has been held responsible for the damage caused to municipal infrastructure, the loss of income by businesses (and the consequent impact on employment), or the huge impact the strike has had on residents.

"The DA will now be tabling a motion of no-confidence in the Mayor for his failure to demonstrate political leadership in this situation. He has failed to communicate with the City."

'Buffalo City Municipality strike deal unfavourable for ratepayers'

Mileham said that Pakati has also failed to ensure that agreements reached between the various parties in the municipal employment environment keep up their end of the deal.

"He has failed to keep the interests of the residents of the City first and foremost. It is time for Mayor Pakati to go.

"Equally, the City Manager, Andile Sihlahla, must be held accountable for his failure. His failure to implement agreed-upon resolutions on various labour issues precipitated this strike. He has escaped almost all scrutiny in this matter," he described.

"The DA will today table a motion calling for a comprehensive investigation into his conduct in this matter, and his role in incurring in excess of R200 million in fruitless and wasteful expenditure by not dealing with labour issues timeously."

Mileham said that the DA remains adamant that SAMWU must be held liable (in terms of the SATAWA v Garvas Constitutional Court judgement) for all damage caused during the strike – whether by SAMWU members or not.

"The court makes it clear that where such damages are “reasonably foreseeable” the union must take steps to prevent them. SAMWU failed dismally in this regard, and therefore should pay for the cost of repairs and damages," he said.

"It is clear that it is no longer the ANC in charge of Buffalo City, but rather SAMWU and its fellow unions. A DA government would not allow the situation in BCM to have reached the stage it did. The primary role of any municipal government is to deliver basic services (water, electricity, sanitation etc) to its residents."

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