With R3bn funding gap, Tshwane can't afford workers'salary hike demand: Brink
Workers affiliated with the South African Municipal Workers Union have been protesting over a 5.4% salary hike for over a month now, an increase that they argue they haven't received in three years.
JOHANNESBURG - City of Tshwane Mayor Cilliers Brink said the city has a R3 billion funding gap that has forced it to hold off on salary increases for municipal workers.
Workers affiliated with the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) have been protesting over a 5.4% salary hike for over a month now, an increase that they argue they haven't received in three years.
Some workers who have returned to their posts have reported incidents of intimidation by striking workers.
The city and Samwu representatives are set to appear before the South African Local Bargaining Council on Wednesday to resolve the salary impasse.
Brink said the City first needs to resolve the issue of its funding gap.
"The fact is we don't have this money. Look at any objective assessment of Tshwane's situation, look at the financial statements, look at the findings of the AG [Auditor General]. We need to find a way to cover the R3 billion funding gap that we have in the city."
Brink said they will have to hold off on salary increases.
"Many other municipalities in the country have refused to answer that question and that's why they are in the position that they can't pay salaries. We don't want to be in that position, we want to pay salaries. We want a happy, productive workforce. But in order to sustain this and continue to deliver services including to those who can't afford to pay for services. We need to make the tough decisions and carry them through now."