130 CoJ employees jobs on the line

MORE THAN 100 City of Joburg employees whose jobs are on the line after their fixed-term contracts were converted to permanent employment had a rude awakening on Thursday when they were visited at their homes by armed members of the K9 unit.

The city had written letters to about 130 employees whose jobs were made permanent when the ANC was running Johannesburg, saying they were unlawfully hired.

The DA-led coalition running the City of Joburg has accused the previous ANC administration of having illegally gratified their political staff with permanent jobs in gross breach of the law.

Executive mayor of Joburg, Dr Mpho Phalatse, said the ANC under the late mayor Geoff Makhubo converted the fixed-term contracts into permanent employment in February 2020.

She said a similar decision was taken on October 19 last year when the mayor was the late Jolidee Matongo.

The affected employees had been given time to respond to a request to co-operate in the termination of their jobs.

However, most of these employees did not respond individually. Instead, they asked the SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) to represent them in the matter.

Part of the letter to the city read: “We note as per the notice to our members the action taken by the city to ‘rescind the decisions of the mayoral committee to convert fixed-term contracts to permanent employment’ emanates from a council sitting that took place on the 25th of February 2022.

“We therefore kindly, but urgently, request that you provide us with a copy of the signed resolution of the council to this effect and all necessary material related to the decision of the council to enable our members to properly and holistically respond to your notice.”

On Thursday morning, the city sent armed K9 unit members to the homes of the affected employees to deliver the same letter telling them their jobs were on the line and to avoid liability in the matter they had to co-operate.

“We had a Zoom meeting with the city and we responded to their letter on time,” said Samwu Fincoph Cluster secretary Karabo Ramahuma.

“It’s unwarranted … it’s intimidation and harassment to send heavily armed K9 members to the home of employees who have been told to stay away from work so early in the morning.”

Phalatse said the City of Joburg was now under a new administration and other parties should respect the outcomes of the local government elections.

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