While millions of people are facing layoffs and unemployment due to the damage that the Covid-19 lockdown has done to the South African economy, important services have come to a standstill in Stilfontein because workers are reportedly on strike.
Municipal workers who are supposed to perform maintenance services are reportedly unhappy because they are required to work during lockdown, while other workers have to stay home due to the regulations but are still getting paid.
Nearly a third of Stilfontein has been without water for the last two days after a pipe burst. This leak has caused an enormous hole on the corner of Stilfontein Road and Gamtoos Street. (On the accompanying photos, Michel Groenewald is standing in the hole that is filled with water.)
The situation is absolutely unacceptable and the FF Plus will put pressure on the Municipality to lay off some of its workforce seeing as the current financial crisis at the Municipality will only be worse after the lockdown.
The workers who should be let go first are the people who are unwilling to work and whose services are redundant. And should new employees be appointed, it must be done based on merit.
In the meantime, the FF Plus is engaging with the management of the Municipality to ensure that the problem with the striking workers is solved as soon as possible as well as to address the immediate problem of the water leak and the repair of the hole, even if it means that contractors must be appointed.
There is no place in South Africa for trade unions that tear down our struggling economy even further or for workers who are not willing to work. South Africa simply cannot afford it and taxpayers must join forces with the FF Plus and stand up against this.
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