Samwu divided over utilities being returned to city’s control


Samwu divided over utilities being returned to city’s control

Penwell Dlamini | 2017-02-07 19:01:21.0

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Image by: Gallo Images / Beeld / Cornel Van Heerden

The SA Municipal Workers Union in the City of Johannesburg is divided over the decision of the mayor‚ Herman Mashaba‚ to incorporate entities of the metro back under the direct control of the council.

On Tuesday the Greater Johannesburg Region of Samwu held a briefing in Braamfontein at which it expressed its views following Mashaba’s announcement a week ago.

The regions said the formation of the city’s entities with their own board of directors was a move to “commodify” public services that would lead to job losses.

“As we speak these entities are running at a far lower staff complement as compared to when they were created. Instead of improving the standard of living of our members‚ these entities have focused on making profits and cutting of jobs. Casualisation of workers has increased through outsourcing and sub-contracting of the public work that is supposed to be done by our members‚” the union said in its official statement.

Last month‚ Mashaba put a proposal before council which would result in Pikitup‚ Joburg Water and City Power being reintegrated under the direct control of the city.

Currently the city is a shareholder of these entities and they operate under the Companies Act‚ giving them a “semi-autonomous of the city‚” he argued.

Samwu in Johannesburg immediately responded to the move expressing its disappointment.

“By his own admission‚ the mayor made this decision before undertaking any feasibility study‚ which according to him will only be conducted now. The fact the one can make a decision without understanding the repercussions that would follow indicated that there is more to this announcement. This therefore convinces us that the announcement may have to do with the ultimate control municipal resources‚” the union said.

But Samwu’s Greater Johannesburg Region says workers were not consulted on this statement and its members on the ground are in full support of Mashaba’s move.

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