THE indebted Tswaing local municipality has less than 24 hours to pay workers wage increases before the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) embarks on a full-scale strike.
The municipality, situated in the North West and known for its farming towns, is under section 139 administration and has applied to the national government for temporary exemption from the wage deal, which was struck more than two months ago.
The deal, facilitated by the South African Local Government Association (Salga) with organised labour, stipulates that municipal workers get a 7% across-the-board increase over three years, effective from July 2015.
But reports emerged this week that Tswaing had R16,000 left in its bank account and would be unable to pay the increases immediately.
Samwu provincial secretary in the North West Thebeitsile Mokoto said the union would give the municipality 48 hours from Tuesday to justify its exemption application.
“We have had meetings with the municipality, and found that we have no choice but to make sure we bring the council to a standstill. They (municipal workers) are still looking for clarity why the municipality is not able to honour the agreement,” Mr Mokoto said.
Samwu is also considering approaching Salga to compel the municipality to pay the increase.
Mr Mokoto said Tswaing administrator Koitsione Phoolo, who was brought in by the national government to clean up the council’s administrative mess, had experience at Transnet but “he did not seem to have a grasp of the workings and the dynamics of local government”.
Mr Phoolo said the municipality could not afford