West Rand Municipality workers call on Makhura to address wage dispute

Employees of the West Rand District Municipality say that haven’t been paid for the past three months.

Protesters gather at the Mary Fitzgerald Square in Johannesburg on 14 November 2018. They are calling on the office of the Premier to receive their memorandum of demands. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Employees of the West Rand District Municipality have gathered at the Mary Fitzgerald Square in Johannesburg, calling on the office of the Gauteng premier to deal with their grievances.

They say that haven’t been paid for the past three months.

Last month, workers held councillors hostage demanding their salaries be paid.

The municipality invested R77 million in the embattled VBS Mutual Bank.

A large group of workers from the municipality clad in red are singing and dancing here as they wait for Premier David Makhura to come and receive their memorandum.

Workers say this is the third month they have not been paid.

The Democratic Municipal and Allied Workers Union of South Africa (Demawusa) says they don’t believe that the municipality has no funds to pay workers.

Spokesperson Ayanda Yawua said: “To our surprise when the municipality does not have money but it invested with VBS an amount of R77 million so, we are just wondering why the municipality invested but claim that they don’t have money.”

Yawua has admitted that this is not a legal march but says many of those protesting are breadwinners who can’t continue to work for free.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)