Freedom Front Plus
Freedom Front Plus

ANC shows its true colours by giving in to protesters’ demands at the expense of residents in Middelburg

The FF Plus strongly condemns the ANC's decision to give in to the unreasonable demands made by striking municipal workers in the Steve Tshwete Local Municipality (Hendrina, Middelburg, Pullens Hope, Rietkuil) after they had turned the once prosperous Middelburg into a rubbish heap.

The Municipality's municipal manager, Bheki Khenisa, and the head of Mpumalanga's Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Samukelo Ngubane, reached an agreement with the South African Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) regarding the striking workers' demands on Tuesday.

According to the agreement, all the striking workers who had been dismissed on 12 November must be re-appointed with immediate effect and their salaries must be adjusted so as to meet their demands.

The Municipality will also be upgraded from a Level 4 to a Level 5 municipality. The Municipality, however, does not have the funds to justify the upgrade.

It is unacceptable that this agreement was entered into without involving the new municipal council.

This unilateral approach denies law-abiding residents and taxpayers their right to provide input on matters that directly affect them and demonstrates poor political leadership.

The FF Plus has posed urgent questions regarding the matter to the MEC for COGTA, Busisiwe Shiba, asking her to justify her support of the agreement, to justify why the unreasonable demands of striking municipal workers have been granted and to indicate who will provide the extra funds needed to upgrade the Municipality to Level 5.

Looting and throwing petrol bombs border on sabotage and the FF Plus strongly condemns the fact that the Municipality conceded to the strikers' demands; a strong message should have been sent instead, a message that makes it clear that such conduct will not go unpunished. The concession, however, only serves to reinforce the idea among looting and striking municipal officials that if they use violence, they will get what they want even if it is at the expense of residents.

In this debacle, Steve Tshwete residents are the ones on the losing side as they will probably have to pay for the upgrade and unreasonable salary hikes by means of higher rates and taxes.



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