By OVAYO MILISA NOVUKELA
Makana Municipality workers launched a go-slow on Monday, 5 September, partly because they allege the municipality has failed to fully pay their pensions, provident, funeral, and medical aid funds.
Workers are also contesting the below-inflation three per cent wage increase allocated by the National Treasury.
According to an anonymous source, workers want to find out “why our [pension, provident, funeral and medical aid] policies are lapsing when monthly contributions continue to be deducted from our wages”.
“When the municipality pays policies to companies, they don’t pay directly to the individual’s policy; instead, the municipality pays large sums of money to the respective companies without indicating how much should be allocated to a single member’s policy cover,” he said.
“Right now, I am owing Avbob R449. How is that possible? The worse part is that they are some employees that are working in the municipality that are not registered with the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).”
He said that when the cost of premiums rises, the municipality fails to increase the deductions from wages “so we can be on par with correct premium charges”.
He said workers had consulted with the Municipal Manager Moppo Mene about this, who indicated that he would meet with employees to discuss the problem. “But then he decided to go to an imbizo. We don’t want this to go to a strike, but if we have to, we will.”
Makana Municipality workers are also unhappy with the 3.5% per cent wage increase agreed upon last year by the SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) and the South African Local Government Association for all municipal workers at the SA Bargaining Council.
According to a circular from the Makana Municipality communications officer, municipal leadership met with unions on Tuesday, 6 September, to find solutions to some employee problems.
“This meeting follows a number of engagements between municipal leadership and the employees. In previous meetings since last Friday, employees raised several work-related issues. During this period, employees have opted only to come to work but not to perform their daily duties to show their dissatisfaction,” the circular said.
Makana said it was hopeful the meeting “might yield a positive outcome, which will see all normal services resume.”
Uncollected refuse has built up around town over the past two days. Residents were advised to keep refuse inside until further notice.
Meanwhile, South Africa’s annual inflation rate accelerated to an over 13-year high of 7.8% in July 2022, from 7.4% in June.